Bonny Doon is a band from Detroit, a place that when mentioned immediately evokes a certain kind of sound. Yet it takes less than a minute into the quartet’s 2017 self-titled debut to realize that this is a different kind of Rock City outfit. Led by the songwriting duo of Bill Lennox and Bobby Colombo, Bonny Doon’s laconic, Country-fied songs have more in common with The Band than The Stooges. More pointedly, “Summertime Friends” sounds like early Wilco informed by Levon Helm’s leftover whiskey and weed — its meandering organ and ramshackle rhythms back lyrics that repeatedly ask, “How do you feel?” The answer: zonked.
When it came time to write songs for the follow-up, Longwave, released via Woodsist earlier this year, the band convened to a cabin in northern Michigan.
“The whole goal of this new album was to try and capture the band’s sound at its essence with everything stripped down and vulnerable,” Lennox told Noisey just before the album dropped in March. “We were trying to just capture the sound of the band in a room. We were happy to just kind of bare more of ourselves and be more open.”
Sure enough, songs like “A Lotta Things” and “I Am Here (I Am Alive)” are refreshingly straightforward, as if they’re trying to resurrect the poetic Blues-infused Folk musings of Smog or Silver Jews. Choice lyric from “I Am Here (I Am Alive)”: “I just want to be where I’m going.”
Well, boys, you’re almost there.