The Swiss-German duo BOY, comprised of lyricist/singer Valeska Steiner and composer/guitarist Sonja Glass, released the album "Mutual Friends" in early spring of this year and it's well on its way to sealing the deal as one of the best debuts of 2013. The pair's lovely folk-pop is disarmingly simple yet infinitely catchy, full of bouncy melodies, smart lyrics and tender (but never sappy) sentiments.
One particularly charming tune, "Little Numbers," became a viral hit and should have been a mainstream success, with its singalong chorus and "Call Me Maybe"-like flirtatious vibe. For those lucky listeners who did get the memo, the ladies of BOY played a brief stripped-down and sold-out debut North American tour in March, including a stop at the DC area's Jammin Java.
Earlier this week, the group returned to the states, playing larger clubs and bringing along a full band to beef up their sound. Happily, in adding on a guitarist, percussionist, drummer and keyboard player, along with a big, but not overwhelming, light show, the duo were able to make the transition to bigger stages without losing the charms that made the intimate shows so enjoyable.
Of course, the material has a lot to do with BOY's appeal. (You can see the night's full set list here.) Steiner's songs explore relationships with a realistic and optimistic humanity, her voice is a thing of simple, pure beauty and Glass contributes sweet harmonies and resonant arrangements that keep toes tapping and lips smiling.
A personable, outgoing team, their interactions with the crowd remain direct and appreciative and they've got a genuine groove going with their band, especially guitarist Deniz Erarslan, who added a touch of six-string menace to the tale of "Boris," a creepy harrasser who get slapped down (satisfyingly!) in one of BOY's few songs with dark edges.
Although this DC date was only the second of the current tour (the full list of dates is below), BOY show no learning curves to conquer when it comes to making the transition from listening room darlings to theatre stage pros. The duo is already a big hit back home in Europe and it's only a matter of time before America catches up.
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Upcoming BOY Tour Dates:
Tue, Oct 8 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Wed, Oct 9 Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
Fri, Oct 11 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
Sat, Oct 12 and Sun, Oct 13 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Tue, Oct 15 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Wed, Oct 16 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Fri, Oct 18 Denver, CO @ Bluebird
Sat, Oct 19 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Mon, Oct 21 Vancouver, BC @ Venue
Tue, Oct 22 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
Wed, Oct 23 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Fri, Oct 25 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Sat, Oct 26 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
Sun, Oct 27 San Diego, CA @ Porter's Pub
For more on BOY: