Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Brad Kopplin, Recorded at Breakglass Studio in Montreal, Canada in October 2010, during the Pop Montreal festival
Within the thumping heart of the Bonjay chest is actually a reliable belt, running like a treadmill and these very high electrostatically stable voltages that are accumulated, go on to fuel that body and especially the throat and limbs of Alanna Stuart, as if her skin were transformed into the surface of a Van de Graaff generator. Were you to throw your hands onto a physical form of her lyrics, you would feel the current enter your body from the point of contact of one fingertip, getting into you like a doctor pricking the finger with a microscopic hole to take blood, and then traveling like the quickest summery through all of your veins and out as dinky of a point of contact on your other hand. It would course through you like a muted spasm that you would like to have happen to you again - the sooner, the better - for suddenly you're alert and you're cognizant of more emotion than you ever thought you would be at this hour. You're feeling it and feeling it - the tingles reminders that it actually did happen.
The Toronto musician, who here creates St. Vincent and Otis Redding-like dancehall blasts (just listen and tell us you don't hear it to some degree) with beatmaker Ian (Pho) Swain, sings on the duo's latest EP, "Broughtupsy" of the dangerous feelings that are actually weaknesses, but we feel as if they're exactly what they should be - those dangerous zings and zappings that will keep you awake and jittery when you actually want to be those two things. Those that she sings about - those dangerous feelings - are sweltering ruminations of the unsavory ways that people will treat other people that they supposedly find love in. You wonder how we always seem to get ourselves into these precarious situations, but at least here, Stuart turns these temperamental thoughts and actions into specks of soulful introspection that also make us feel like we're ready to throw our bodies around again on some dark, dark, dark dance floor and see what/who we run into - blissfully forgetful of how we got to these dramatic intersections in the first place. Stuart gives us the push to make that plunge, to get sucked right back into the grinder for another romp. She sings, "Always happens/Every time he sucks his teeth/You get the feeling there's a real life seething, tempting underneath/Wise ones warn that the ending's trouble/Yet, it'll never cease/Cause little miss is always swayed by slackness/And always will be," on this session and it sounds as if the deceptions never end and that is corroborated by the odd synth horns and sirens that Swain uses in his musical creations, giving us the warnings and the jarring peculiarities that should make us take greater notice about where we're leading our lovin.' Oftentimes, it's being led directly into the mud.
Bonjay Official Site
Pop Montreal official site