Let There Be Music by Bonny Doon album review by Ryan Meyer for Northern Transmissions


Let There Be Music

Bonny Doon

Detroit soft-rockers bonny doon have emerged from the woods their music resides in with their third record and first since 2018, Let There Be Music. A fitting title for a record that seems to have begun and ended with that very sentence, from the moment the trio entered the studio.

It’s delightfully pleasant music, more roll than rock, exemplary of the fact that simplicity in music is best delivered with the knowledge that what’s been omitted is better left out. Throughout their latest release, bonny doon have mastered letting the song transcend instrumental flashiness or showmanship. All three members and their various guests serve the songs, and the songs are better served as a result.

The band have been releasing singles from Let There Be Music since September of 2022, starting with opening track, “San Francisco,” a breezy stroll of a tune.

“Naturally” follows, a tighter song sonically but not befitting of its relaxed title and lyrical content about, well, letting it happen naturally, “it” being progress with an important person in the narrator’s life. Whether or it’s a friend, family member or romantic partner, it’s of no concern
to the listener given the singer’s confidence in the pair’s ability to let things work themselves out.

This theme of development is revisited in “You Can’t Stay The Same,” which seems to be informing someone that resisting change is futile, and that although the trials of life can wear you down, the narrator will meet you at the end of the road. “And I hope you come and see me/After
all the years/When it’s all behind us and/There’s nothing left to fear.”

“Fine Afternoon” sees the band being the everyman’s lyricists with lines both poetically pretty and laughably simple, as seen in “That I’m looking for a rainbow while I’m/Pissing in a pot of gold.” It’s not laughably simple in a derisive way but rather in a Westerbergian, “Damn, that’s exactly how I feel,” sort of way.

Let There Be Music is feel-good summer music, a record that writer Steven Hyden would undoubtedly classify among his pantheon of songs worthy of summery front porches amidst orange and indigo swashes of sunsets.

Or perhaps it’s backyard music, to enjoy a long look at a domain you’ve made your own, however big or small it might be. Music to appreciate what’s been overcome rather than the beauty that lies out of reach.

Pre-order Let There Be Music by Bonny Doon HERE


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