Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Fun Fact: Bowery Boy Blue
principal Zeb Gould’s father provided dobro and banjo on the
group’s new debut album, Stalk That Myth.
Why It's Worth Watching: Bowery
Boy Blue’s first record is full of string-laced Americana that’s
as stirringly beautiful as the city and stories that inspired it.
For Fans Of:Magnolia Electric Co., Will Oldham
It’s nothing new or original to say
that New York City is a bustling hotbed of emerging talent. On any
given day, the coffee houses, poetry clubs, small-music venues,
street corners and subways are alive with aspiring artists peddling
their musical wares to anyone within earshot.
Their ultimate goals and intentions
vary, though all share a common desire to stand out amongst the
crowds and have their music heard. One such act currently circulating
the in the Big Apple is Zeb Gould and his band Bowery Boy Blue, who
recently stepped out with their debut full-length, Stalk That
The project initially started out as a
solo outfit for Gould, who also makes music as Stereofan with his
wife, Megan. “A couple years ago I did an EP under the moniker
Bowery Boy Blue and I played some shows around the city with it,”
he says of the act’s origins. “[The project] was a little dormant
for a while, and then I had this batch of songs last year and I went
ahead and booked time at [Steve Albini’s studio] Electrical Audio
The nine songs that make up Myth
resemble Neil Young-style Americana supplemented by layers of strings
courtesy of Gould’s wife. Edith Frost’s drummer Jason Toth
provided drums for the sessions, and Gould’s longtime cohort from
his college days at Indiana University, Sam Crawford, engineered and
mixed the set.
Gould says the bulk of material was
inspired by the Jean-Paul Sartre play The Flies. “There are
some references in the play to the Furies, who are sort of ringing
around the protagonist,” he explains, noting that the songs “Come
Closer, Sisters” and “Take Heart, Sisters” come from lines in
the play. “It’s a real loose association… I don’t think
anyone listening to the record needs to know anything about the play
to get anything out of it.”
The lyrical association might be loose,
but the presence of the Furies is felt with each sting passage that
swoops in and out, creating a sense that these songs carry a life of
their own beyond the record. So far, Bowery Boy Blue’s music has
garnered attention from the likes of Frost and Magnolia Electric Co.,
and Gould hopes that more will follow suit with the album’s
Alongside Gould, multi-instrumentalist
Crawford, bassist Michael Trepagnier and drummer Christian Rutledge
round out the current incarnation of the band, and a fall tour and
follow-up album are both currently in the works.
And the obviously-New-York-inspired
name? “I actually worked in New York City on the Bowery,” Gould
says, “so I guess it just kind of grew out of that.” Not only on the name, but, like many
artists, the city has its influence on Gould’s music, as well.
“There’s a certain creative energy that just sort of pulses out
of that place,” he says. “It’s hard not to be affected by it.”