Bouche play music of singer and double bass player Rebekah Bouche, over a seductive swagger of electric guitar and a sultry, weaving trumpet. ‘So Long Solemn’, the trio’s first album is 9 tracks long, but boldly clocks in at just over an hour, and as the title suggests the songs form a kind of meditation on melancholy. There’s darkness both lyrically and musically which permeates this record – Rebekah comes from a blues background and you can hear that in her raw and open way of confronting the world and questioning her place in it. Stylistically the music ranges from straight up blues ‘Old Man London’, to the daringly arranged ‘Yankel’ which though it follows a trad-jazz form, features only a lone vocal and trumpet. Difficult to pin down but before you mark Bouche down as a contemporary blues or jazz band, you’ll also find elements of soul ‘The Storm’, a pinch of psychedelia ‘23rd Time Lucky’ and ‘Into the Sea’, and the soaring cinematic soundscapes of ‘If I Were Queen’ and ‘House of Cards’ which evoke the pathos of old ballad poetry along with a sense of romanticism.
All of the songs are centered on Rebekah’s gently swaying bass lines, and her pure and powerful vocal style. It’s a voice that reminds you of old blues singers. The lyrics likewise can be confessional as on ‘Je m’accuse Blues’ or cryptically poetic ‘House of Cards’ enticing you to a second, third or even fiftieth listen to attempt to unpack the ideas.
Bouche have been performing live for a year and a half building up a local fan base in London and taking the music as far afield asItaly and Germany as well as into many a festival field the UK over (including Wilderness and Secret Garden Party). For a relatively new and unsigned band they’ve already amassed some strong support from their fans and promoters alike, raising over £3500 through their Kickstarter campaign to go towards making this debut, and being invited to support Van Morrison in March 2015 by legendary promoter Vince Power at his Kensington club, Nell’s.
The band will be launching the album at a secret East London location on Thursday 21st April, with what promises to be a spectacular show featuring dancers, guest musicians and visuals.
The album is released on You What Now Records on Friday 15th April.
Thursday 21st April – Dalston Boys Club, 68 Boleyn Road, N16 8JG – Album Launch