Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hit: Bon Villan

April 11, 2018

Bon Villan reeled me in with the infectious electro-pop of “Outta Cash” and kept me with the rest of their self-titled EP. “Outta Cash” has a brilliant chorus vocal hook, a bright-shiny electro arrangement, and a rock-solid “bring it down now” bridge to hype that last chorus section. It’s just a great pop tune.

“When I Came Up” packs all the attitude and insanely catchy vocal melodies and rhythms into a low-key jam, like Matt and Kim might make if they were real, real chill. I love it. The nuanced indie-pop arrangement of “How to Hurt” is basically a Generationals song, which has me totally into it. There’s some understated guitars and digital percussion, some quiet-to-loud vocals, and more. It helps that, again, the vocal melodies are just ace.

The lowslung “Love Online” has some Cobra Starship cool, a sort of unsung groove that keeps things moving without calling huge attention to “this is a dance track” (which, of course, calls huge attention from a certain section of people who love that type of track). “Feel It Out” is in the same vein, albeit with a bit more stomping percussion to get people going. But it’s still dark and groove-laden instead of hitting a big synth.

It takes a lot for me to get excited about dance-oriented electro, but Bon Villan have done it. Bon Villan has a lot of promise with this EP—if you’re into low-key electro-pop with big melodies and understated arrangements, you’ll find a lot to love here.

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Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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