Southern retro-soul duo Bonneville are in the process of rolling out their debut self-titled LP; a compilation of rock, soul, funk and R&B arranged to reflect not only their personal relationships with the deep-seated musical roots of the South but also the very core of the sound – which continues to guide musicians and ignite passion in music aficionados and enthusiasts.
The LP was recorded by the Atlanta-based group–led by vocalist Wes McGee and guitarist Jeff Hayashi–at Fame Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and mastered by Richard Dodd, Nashville, Tenn. The result is profoundly American and equally distinctive and was formulated after the two artists traversed the country in search of that something. The vast nature of the U.S. called for exploration both inwards and out, and as a result, they tapped into an energetic sound that expresses and encapsulates the joy of discovery – a sound that is raw, greasy and easy to amalgamate.
Today, we debut the second single off Bonneville, “Hard To Love,” a rhythmic, classic-sounding tune that calls back to the era of Do Wop. While the track is influenced by the stylings of artists like Wilson Pickett and Clarence Carter, Bonneville are able to lift the essence of their inspiration into the 21st century by mindfully tending to the lyrical and sonic dichotomy on the track, making heartbreaking lyrics and gilded horns feel like red on a rose.
Narratively, the track explores the difficulties of a musician who is struggling with maintaining his personal family life and public persona. According to the band, the theme was inspired by Stewart Copeland’s film Everyone Stares, which explores The Police’s rise to superstardom through a decade’s worth of stock footage and showcases their respective growth in lifestyle as they age and start their families.
“When we set out to make this song, we knew we wanted a tight pocket groove and syncopated instrumentation, lots of horns, and gospel choir style backing vocals. The horns have a way of bringing up the energy of the track and is one of the signature elements of Bonneville’s sound,” Hayashi shared with Relix. “We also knew that we had to maintain a dichotomy between a happy, upbeat vibe musically combined with a challenging and difficult lyrical expression that aligns to the narrative of the song. The narrative of ‘Hard To Love’ centers on the challenge of being a family man that is a music maker and entertainer; acknowledging the difficulties of maintaining a personal family life while needing to maintain a public persona.”
Listen to “Hard To Love” Below.
Oct. 8, Natchez, MS Blues and Soul Super Bowl CeeLo Green, Kool & The Gang, Patti Labelle
Oct. 22, Ridgeland, MS Twilight Concerts – direct support for Blues Traveler, Gov’t Mule