Boo City has been an eclectic mainstay in the Rhode Island music scene for nine years. With a soulful sound that has elements of funk, reggae, rock, and jam music, Boo City is a band focused on the occasions and full experience their music creates. There is a Boo City epiphany that comes about at the right time in their songs. It is unexpected, swift, and never the same twice.
“With this crew it is always a bit mystical,” Bain muses, “We have been playing together for this long and it always feels like we incarnate on stage. We form out of gasses. Like we all become part of a giant spirit.”
Comprised of songwriters Bain and Tai Awolaju, the horns of Frank Moniz and Grayson Farmer, Harry Milloff on bass and Peter Barr on drums, Boo City takes a full band approach to songwriting that looks to no particular path for creation. “We write a variety of ways,” Bain says, “Tai and I have brought a lot of songs to the crew, then we work it out that way. Things fall into place. Sometimes Tai and I write together, other times we have complete songs done on our own, that we think will work for Boo.”
Boo City’s sound is a representation of its many individual parts working together, feeding off and allowing each other room to give each song fresh direction. The five-song EP Anchortown gives a snapshot of the many influences that comprise Boo City. A song like “Long Gone” has Bain and Tai crooning in an almost doowop verse, leading into the straight minor blues of “You Ain’t Ready” before diving into the country-foot-stomping joy of “Don’t Deny Me.”
“There are a lot of inputs with us but nothing is ever forced,” Bain says, “That’s what’s cool. We all know if it’s working or we are working too hard.”
Feeling at home at big outdoor festivals or in small clubs, Boo City has a sound that can fit many situations as long as it is live. Boo City sounds like a band that cannot be fully expressed on any one medium; they need to be experienced to be understood and their songs are never completely cast in plaster. They are constantly evolving works.
Boo City is also a band that lets the social consciousness present in their lives take root in their music, with intention or not. “I don’t think music has to take a social stance, but if you take a stand in your own life and speak your truth, naturally music will too,” Bain says. “The responsibility is, as artists and musicians, to be real with ourselves so we can feel right about what we are doing.”
While remaining outspoken at times, Boo City does not always feel the need to be activists, sometimes allowing their music to just be. “There are many musicians who are players, making a living with their respective skills and crafts, just like anyone working a job,” Bain adds. “Not all electricians only wire neon resistance signs.”