These ten songs are the most essentials songs that defined what Boi Wonder is aiming for with their music.
Some of them are part of their production ritual, as an essential step prior to starting composing music, to remember what has been already achieved, and what these great artists dared to create and share with the world.
Bicep – Opal
Bicep is what you should want to hear late at night. Strange how something so delicate and sparing can hit you so hard. It’s a bit ambiguous too, kinda like drinking the finest of French wines on a cramped and sweaty dance floor. Even though Opal does not feature any vocals, it still feels like you’re listening to a ‘song’. Which is pretty dope, especially for former indie-pop sluts like us? Oh, and fun fact: they inspired us to sidechain synths to random drum samples. Thanks, guys!
Jai Paul – Jasmine
By far the most influential production of the last 20ish years. So crazy that it came out of nowhere. Those organic handclaps, those down-to-earth lyrics, those carefully yet perfectly placed guitar licks. 8 years old, yet still the top song in our annual Spotify Wrapped playlists.
SOPHIE – It’s okay to cry
It’s okay to cry. Well, you know, it just is, isn’t it? In the studio, before diving into our own music, it has become a ritual to listen to one or two tracks from other artists, new releases ’n stuff. When we first played ‘Oil of every pearl’s un-insides’, the only button we could push was ‘repeat’. Again, and again, again. It was unlike anything else we had ever heard before, like catching a glimpse of what electronic music will sound like ten years from now. It ruined our writing sesh, but it was a beautiful evening nonetheless.
Charli XCX – Focus
In our humble view, “Charli XCX” is a synonym for “perfect pop song”. Why isn’t she on the radio all the time? Why isn’t she selling out arenas? Why isn’t she headlining festivals? One might argue that it’s too easily digestible, but at least it’s waaaay more innovative and layered than 99,9% of other so-called popular music.
James Blake – You’re too precious
Everything James Blakes touches, turns into pure gold. A bizarre combination of vocal superiority and cutting edge production skills.
Flume – High Beams
Even though we’re huge fans of Flume’s more radio-friendly productions, the “Hi this is Flume” mixtape is still what we’re most drawn to. We love how it comes off as an experiment, a stylistic exercise in between the real deal. It actually feels like he’s teasing us: “Hi there, average losers, this is what I’m capable of, how ‘bout you?” Frustrating, and therefore inspiring. We chose to highlight “High Beams”, because every single musical element’s got that distinct Flume sauce, you don’t need more than a few seconds to know you’ve just entered the Flume universe. And a big up for Slowthai’s exquisites lines of course, who is ideally cast here.
Cashmere Cat ft The Weeknd & Francis and the Lights – Wild Love
No, we were not forced by our label to add at least one artist from their catalogue to this playlist. Cashmere Cat, and particularly, “Wild Love”, has been a reference for basically every Boi Wonder track we’ve made so far. It was actually the other way around, Cashmere Cat introducing us to Pelican Fly. It went something like: “what? He used to be signed by a Belgian label? Email them NOW!” And so it happened. About “Wild love” then: it’s achingly beautiful, and a constant reminder to how less can really be more. Besides, if you fiddle about with two of the best voices of the decade and you manage not to fuck it up, you’re big. Plain damn big.
Four Tet – Planet
Whether it’s Four Tet, Kieran Hebden or his utterly unpronounceable moniker “⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ“: this guy is from another planet. Fun fact nr. two: a steel drum is a central element in literally all of our songs. We wouldn’t have clung onto that instrument if it hadn’t been for the lavish use of steel drums on Four Tet’s album New Energy, and in particular the addictively catchy melody on “Planet”.
FKA Twigs – Cellophane
FKA Twigs is the kind of supernatural multi-talent you only encounter once every generation. “LP1” had been a benchmark in our musical development. You know, that album that you listen to every night before you fall asleep and that makes you realize there is an entire continent of musicians and producers and genres you had not yet been made familiar with. Cellophane, FKA Twigs’ first single after 3 years of silence, announcing her soon to be released second album “Magdalene”, reassured us that she still had everything to astonish us.
Jamie XX – Gosh
We’ve evidently been fangirling Jamie XX ever since he stepped out of the shadow of Romy Croft and Oliver Sim. But it was a particularly memorable moment when we watched the video for “Gosh” (directed by the notorious Romain Gavras) in a dark room, on big screen, with the studio speakers on maximum volume. Tribal, visceral, alarming, angry, euphoric and a shitload of superlatives still not suffice to describe how this track continues to electrify us. Just one out of many curiosities: it feels like there’s a chorus, you know there’s a chorus, but where’s the damn chorus?
Caribou – Jamelia
One of the few (or only?) Caribou tracks not sung by Dan Snaith himself. Not that we dislike his voice, but “Jamelia” really tickles us. Atypical production, super soulful, heartfeltly desperate. The catharsis at 1.43, introduced by the hurried, high rising synth, is just wowowowowowow. At the risk of being called copy-cats: no compliment is more rewarding than a ‘hey, this Boi Wonder track reminds me of Caribou!’-comparison. Feel free to hit us up at our socials and make us happy 😉
Boi Wonder’s “Behave” Album will be out June 5, 2020. Pre-order it here.