Bijou Noir (a.k.a. Augustus Watkins) has today released his new album titled ‘Wild Wonders’, via Give/Take. Right from the start, after those first bars of ‘That’s No Life’, my first thought was ‘I get it’. This artist is someone I can instantly relate to. Vulnerable yet accessible. Outwardly introvert. That feeling of not belonging to anything but with the included yet often overlooked sensation of liberation that goes with exclusion.
This album is, above all else to me, is mindful. Mindful of it’s content. Putting every emotion into an original idea overlaid by original music. Songwriting at it’s finest is the kind in which we can’t find it’s influences so easy. Because, it’s influential.
“I’m endlessly fascinated by how each person has a concept of ourselves, and the ways in which those ideas both reflect and differ from our relationships with people close to us; and what those connections can teach us about what’s going on in the zeitgeist. In other words, the way people affect their world and, in turn, how the world influences them.
“I suppose, more specifically, this collection of songs is about searching for a better way of being, and finding a path out of troubled times. From rejecting unhealthy relationships, turning to your community to get yourself out of a dark hole, imagining better worlds than what is currently on offer by capitalism, finding warmth in all its forms, to simply seeking help.”
About Bijou Noir
Two years since Bijou Noir’s expansive statement Expatriarch, LA-based and Minnesota-raised alt-pop songwriter Augustus Watkins (Bijou Noir, DEATHDANCE) returns with an expertly crafted EP of five melodic and brilliantly restrained yet sumptuous songs.
While the production polish is evident, Bijou Noir’s latest effort manages to be more audacious, vulnerable, and affecting than ever. According to greats like Debussy and Miles Davis, sometimes it’s about the silence in between the notes — and it’s apparent that Watkins has been studying. Showing impressive growth as a singer-songwriter on Wild Wonders, the artist guides us through five songs of reformation and joyfully defying the status quo.
An impeccable mix of live and programmed drums, summery synths, electric ukulele, electric guitar, piano, and more accompany Watkins’ professionally restrained vocals and vibrato. Alt-pop at its core, Wild Wonders brings a wealth of influence from the bluesy/post-punk vibes of “The Charade” to the retro-pop feel of LinnDrum programming on “Enough Cold For A Lifetime” to Karen Righeimer-Schock’s (Bellhead) perfectly in-the-pocket bass on the indelible closer “I Need Rescue.”
Own and stream Bijou Noir’s latest masterwork now. After all, “no one’s going home tonight” anyhow.
Featured image by Brandon H Brown.