As if to drive home the “concept album” theme, Boniface is bookended by two odes to suburban youth. Opening track “Waking Up in Suburbia” is a gentle piano ballad that allows the listener to ease into the album gently. On the closing song, “Making Peace with Suburbia”, Visser seems exhausted from the emotional weight of the 11 previous songs, but he soldiers on with one final episode. “I’m crying on a queen-size bed,” they sing. “You called, but I’d already passed out / I woke up to your text, it was a picture of your breasts / It said ‘I hope you come around.'” Then, almost as an afterthought: “I guess I never did.” Like the first song, it’s framed primarily by piano, giving the song an epic, gospel feel as the tension slowly builds. The home recordings in Winnipeg give the songs a disarming intimacy, but it’s the transporting of the recordings over to London that complete the circuit, creating a deeply personal work that also contains a great deal of musical sophistication.
What Lana Del Rey did last year for the 1970s singer-songwriter genre on Norman Fucking Rockwell, Boniface has managed to do for 1980s pop on this stunning, multifaceted debut album: embrace a genre while effortlessly elevating it.
Boniface's Debut Album Is a Complex, Deeply Personal Pop Masterpiece