When you write about any form of artistry, how you frame the art is something that can at times, be daunting. When we first heard the music of Boy Scouts, aka Oakland’s Taylor Vick, we were intrigued at how much Vick reminded us of the music of Elliott Smith. It was never like she copied Smith, as it’s meant to be complimentary, but just that she intertwined indie rock with folk like it was always meant to be that way. With time, Boy Scouts has evolved into a space few artists seem to find themselves in. Moving forward and expanding their sound while still holding the core of what they were when they began. On their new album Free Company, Boy Scouts evolves as a powerful singer songwriter while adding more hooks and melodies to create a truly beautiful release.
The album opens with the melodic and soft hooked sound of “Get Well Soon” and it prepares your ears for the ease of the album’s pace. Boy Scouts has always found a way to find the sweet spot between lovely and endearing vocals and a melodic arrangement, and it’s done here like second nature. The upbeat pace continues on the almost country time signature of “In Ya Too.” While Vick’s vocals are the shining point here, the additional organ adds a nice touch, opening the sound of what the band has done in past to a new head space. But while the upbeat stride continues on “Expiration Date,” it’s the slower songs where Boy Scouts draws you in to make you a bigger fan.
“All Right” utilizes this open sounding guitar to compliment Vick’s voice blending together making both stand out. There’s a soft warble in her voice at times that makes the most intriguing trickle, and when it occurs here it makes the song feel more intimate. When the extra instrumentation comes in, the song starts to bloom like a flower in Spring. This occurs again on “Throw Away Love” where the acoustic guitar and the vocals create a yin yang in terms of timbre while still holding your ears and not letting grow in the most sincere way. Though while these soft songs are extraordinary, the stand out of the album comes with “Cut It.” The up tempo with this noodling riff is almost enough before Vick comes in and just dances alongside the notes with an elegance that you can’t help but adore. The album is diverse and rife with tone, lush and exemplary in its presentation and honest in how it all plays out. Free Company is more than most artists could ever want, and it’s certainly what anyone making bedroom pop would want years after they began.
Free Company can be purchased physically on multiple formats and bundles directly from Anti Records, it can be streamed on all platforms or purchased digitally from wherever you download music. Boy Scouts will be on tour beginning September 11 at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, AZ until November 02 at The High Watt in Nashville, TN. Their complete tour scheduling can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Ulysses Ortega.