Ahead of their debut album drop on Pelican Fly this Friday, Boi Wonder talks about falling between the cracks of genre definitions. Listen to the first single now.
“Electronic pop music for the moody and the tenderhearted”. When asked to describe their sound in their own words, Maxiem Charlier and Jelle Lisson are fully aware there is no straightforward answer. From being an indie-pop band during their teenage years to discovering electronic music, the duo, now based in Sint-Truiden, have recently been making small waves in the alternative electronic music community as Boi Wonder. Now, the time has come for a full debut album, 'Behave', which will come out on the critically acclaimed Pelican Fly Records this Friday. You can get a first taste of the release right here, right now.
What's the kind of sound you're going for?
Lisson: "Since it’s our first official release, the drawing board was as eclectic as our musical tastes. We’ve been experimenting a lot, combining traditional ethnic sounding instruments with laid back house beats, hip hop vibes, big ass trap drops and even with extremely weird stuff. Occasionally this caused small identity crises, calling into question everything we’d made so far. That’s why having a label came in pretty handy - an album is never ready, unless someone gives you a deadline. Pelican Fly really guided us in many ways. A particularly meaningful moment was when we decided to limit ourselves to a small selection of instruments. A self-composed drum kit, standard bass sounds, one or two synths, a couple of melodic instruments, kinda like an actual 4-pieceband would work, which brought us back to our past experiences. We then picked the tracks that made the most coherent ensemble and ended up with a collection of songs that we love to describe as 'electronic pop music for the moody and the tenderhearted' - or 'post love songs' if you’re as corny, fatalistic and cynical as we are".
Admittedly, there’s no tight-knit music community in Sint-Truiden anymore, but an internet connection is all you need to be inspired nowadays.
How come you turned to Pelican Fly? At first sight, a dance music imprint looks like a weird fit for a band, don't you think?
Charlier: “We had been told to stalk as much record labels as possible, hoping at least one of them would reply, but that’s not really our deal. Instead, we put much thought and research into which kind of imprint would suit us. It’s easy to go for a ‘rock label’ when you’re a guitar-heavy band or send a demo to Spinnin’ Records when all you want to do is headline Tomorrowland, but we fall somewhere in between. It was a conscious decision to aim at the more indie-minded independent record labels. In addition, even though our music might come off as ‘songs’, we first and foremost consider ourselves electronic music producers. Hence, our game plan was to look at the labels that fit those criteria. We were fans of Pelican Fly because they had jumpstarted the careers of artists like Cashmere Cat, Sinjin Hawke and Lido. We started e-mailing back and forth, and they came down to Sint-Truiden a couple of times. They’ve been incredibly involved during the entire process, constantly pushing us to take it a tiny step further, it’s unlike any other experience we’ve had with labels in the past. In the end, it may seem a weird fit at first sight, but in fact, it’s a perfect match. We wanted a small, electronic label, while they were willing to connect with artists that didn’t look like anything else they had done before”.
What's next for you guys?
Lisson: “A couple of months ago, our plan was pretty straightforward:
release an album, catch the eye of blogs, perhaps have a single on the radio,
and, most importantly, have a summer full of live shows. Clearly, that’s not happening
now. Guess the only thing that we can be sure of, is
that we’ll be doing what we’re used to doing: confining ourselves to our
recording studio, producing new music, preparing another album and praying eventually
there will come a time to play live and meet our audience eye-to-eye. In the meanwhile, feel free to hit us up if you would like to collab or
remix our music”.