Goose Bumps is the debut album from Connecticut’s Boyscott. It features a lo-fi aesthetic that’s smooth and laid back. The band makes use of clean tones with plenty of reverb for both the guitars and the vocals, where the latter is drenched in a ghostly veneer. It evokes the feeling of carefree bliss, where you can just jam with your friends and shoot the shit, while still managing to pluck one’s heartstrings on gloomier topics as it needs to.
Boyscott takes us on a trip to the woods to freshen up and forget our worries for a moment, and I’m sure everyone of us is in need of a much needed break from all the chaos. Production is well-defined and consistent throughout the album. I would greatly recommend listening to this in order, as there’s a subtle narrative and tonal shift that can be experienced by doing so.
The first few tracks are warm and cozy. “Blonde Blood” has an endearing melody and charming surf guitar riffs that can easily get stuck in one’s head. “Nova Scotia 500” has a rhythm that can get you off your feet with sweeping guitar chords and flowing breakdowns. While the bright and sunny vocals of “Marco Polo” makes you want to jump into the water. “Sinking Down” is a refreshing instrumental that soaks you in with lovely guitar lines and flourishing oohs and ahhs. It captures the feeling of floating in the sea with its cool and vibrant harmonies.
By the midpoint of the album, the sunshine slowly fades and is slowly draped with layers of clouds. The songs shift into a dreary mood, while still maintaining the soft and welcoming soundscape. “RIP Sophie Moore” is somber and gloomy, with a luminous undertone. A song that both mourns a friend’s passing while celebrating the good times shared together. In “Lake House” there’s a heavy feeling of wistfulness that suggests a longing to get back to more carefree times: “In the lake we can take our clothes off everyday.” Excellent vocal harmonies sell the feeling of nostalgia very well.
The album closes with “Sleepaway” which is at odds with opener “Sleepwalk”. Comparing both tracks shows a development of the warm and cold moods that Boyscott plays around with. It’s a neat conclusion that tightly wraps up this album and shows the amount of thought and dedication that was poured into this fantastic first offering.
“Goose Bumps” is a care package in musical form. Boyscott is a band that deserves more attention, and is one that I’ll be looking out for. I highly recommend everyone to check this out.