“Why write me songs of sadness? Sing me songs of joy.” Bojockey’s self-titled debut album opens with those telling lines, which are as much a statement of self-reflection as they are a preview of what listeners should expect over the course of the project.
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Bojockey – Bojockey
Bojockey is a mesmerizing body of work, one that serves as a meditation on the heaven and hell the human experience oscillates between and the beauty that each of us creates when we find the courage to confront our own darkness.
About the band
Bojockey, a five-piece indie folk outfit, hailing from London have already made a strong name for themselves in the short year they’ve been together. They’ve found fans in the likes of Matt Wilkinson (Apple Radio), The Independent, BBC Introducing, and Loud & Quiet — and they’re only just getting started.
At the heart of the band is songwriter Samuel Williams, who first started Bojockey as a bedroom recording project. From there, the group grew, adding Helena Grace (vocals/bass), Dustin Price (guitar/vocals), Alex Shave (keys), and Remi Garrier (drums) to round out the lineup.
Since banding together, they’ve released three strong single — ‘My My,’ ‘Maker Made,’ and ‘Magpie’ — to rave reviews. Bojockey is their first full-length offering, though the road that brought them here was long and winding.
Williams grappled deeply with grief following the death of his grandmother, an experience that prompted him to reevaluate his own life and find change to navigate a healthy way forward. So, he returned to her now-empty house in Kempston for what he thought would be a week of adding the finishing touches to Bojockey’s first release. But during that time, something in Williams shifted.
He proceeded to scrap everything he’d spent eight months working on and decided to start again from the very beginning. Williams’ next 48 hours were a feverish burst of creativity, as he poured everything he had into crafting demos for a new, small group of songs. This batch was different from the first — Williams’ vulnerability was on full display as he crafted demos for the tracks, which spoke of grief, God, substance abuse, and self-doubt.
“These songs were written as a way of helping me understand and learn from what I could see happening around me,” Williams says of the project. “This album is a recurring plea for change, either aimed towards myself or as a helping hand for a loved one.”
Bojockey – the album
That plea can be heard right from the start of the project. It begins with ‘My My,’ a striking, indie slow-burn with the repeated question (‘Cause oh, my, my, where do we go from here, child?) demonstrating Williams’ desire for change — even if he doesn’t know where that road will take him just yet.
There’s ‘Chems Town,’ one of the album’s standouts, which is a soft-rock stunner with an irresistible refrain (Oh, she’s going to Chems Town to find her heart again.) Tracks like ‘The Water’ and ‘Magpie’ are driven by gentle acoustic guitars and call to mind indie-rock big leaguers like Bon Iver and The National. And, of course, there’s the subtle, triumphant joy of ‘Honeysuckle’ and ‘Maker Made,’ which speak to the hope that emerges when you work up the will to turn around and face yourself.
Bojockey was recorded live over the course of three days at 3Sixty Studios in Dollis Hill, with mixing provided courtesy of Joseph Futak of Tapir!, Lilo, and Headboy notoriety. It’s a solid, tightly packaged debut, with no skips present over the course of the album’s eight tracks. Bojockey emerges from the project as one of this year’s most promising new acts, making this a must-listen for indie fans.
“A large part of the songs on this record are about facing into the dark,” Williams muses of the album. We’re ever grateful for that as listeners — Bojockey might just be the encouragement each of us needs to face our own darkness, too.
“Bojockey is a mesmerizing body of work, one that serves as a meditation on the heaven and hell the human experience oscillates between — and the beauty that each of us creates when we find the courage to confront our own darkness.”
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Words Elizabeth Braaten