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Indie Mixtape 20: Bonny Doon’s ‘Let There Be Music’ Is Understated And Thoughtful

Like many of us, Bonny Doon were moved by Waxahatchee‘s music. But unlike many of us, they were actually invited to collaborate on the singer’s hit 2020 album, Saint Cloud, and act as a backing band on her subsequent tour. “The experience raised the ceiling on our imagination,” says vocalist/guitarist Bobby Colombo.

Traces of their time collaborating with Waxahatchee can be heard throughout the album. Not only because Katie Crunchfield offers backing vocals to three of the tracks, “Let There Be Music,” “San Francisco,” and “You Can’t Stay The Same,” but also in the twangy vocal delivery and pastoral, Americana-leaning ballads. Throughout 10 tracks, Bonny Doon focus on finding joy in small moments, like the serenity that comes with watching the trees sway in the wind on “Crooked Creek.”

Staying grounded is a central theme of the band’s music, particularly since the album was recorded amid a few health scares for the band. Drummer Jake Kmiecik was healing from complications due to a chronic health condition and Colombo was healing from a brain injury and undiagnosed Lyme disease. Despite the setbacks and many doctors visits, Boony Doon managed to come together for Let There Be Music, their most refined and joyous work to date.

Ahead of the release of Let There Be Music, Bonny Doon sits down with Uproxx to talk Grateful Dead, You’ve Got Mail, and living in the moment in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Understated, humane, simple, thoughtful.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

As something special from a simpler time.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

Detroit, but also anywhere and everywhere.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Neil Young. We have Neil tattoos. He has always been an uncompromising artist who knows how to keep the essence of a feeling intact.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

Lake Inez in Toronto.

What album do you know every word to?

Dookie, American Beauty.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

Roscoe Mitchell at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, 2018, there were about fifteen minutes where he played solo, circular breathing to a crowd of about fifty people and I’m convinced it’s the closest to the divine I’ve ever seen a person get.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

A suit, clean and simple.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

The insta page for Apology Magazine.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

Grateful Dead Sirius station.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Dead & Company Cornell 5/8/2023 soundboard haha

What album makes for the perfect gift?

The Brenda Ray collection D’Ya Hear Me!: Naffi Years, 1979-93. It’s hard to find but it’s perfect music.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

Massive co-op in Berkeley, going into after a fifteen-hour drive unaware that it was a co-op. First thing I saw walking in was about thirty bikes and got very alarmed.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

The aforementioned Neil tattoos, an homage to the man.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

Whenever I catch “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne it’s a good day.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

My girlfriend came to see Phish with me last summer, but most importantly she enjoyed it.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Be here now.

What’s the last show you went to?

Last band I saw was our friend Kacey Johansing, very special music.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

You’ve Got Mail.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

Somehow still avoiding T*kT*k.

Let There Be Music is out 6/16 via Anti. Find more information here.