In a world which seems to move at a million miles an hour, it’s easy to get lost in commotion and feel completely overwhelmed by it all. Coupled with things like toxic productivity or toxic positivity, we are constantly pulled in multiple directions and sometimes it can be hard to just be. One singer resisting society’s endless clamour is Oakland-based singer-songwriter Boy Scouts. An expert at swimming around in her feelings and honing in on the uncertainty of life, she dives headfirst into uncomfortable sensations of precariousness or pain, coming up for air gripping hauntingly beautiful music.
In her new meditative single, ‘Didn’t I’, Boy Scouts delves into existence itself; no question is too big or too small to escape her magnifying glass as she tries to make sense of her world. Opening with a gentle plodding piano melody, she instantly creates a warm place for her to unfold her findings, or lack thereof, as she slowly sings “I don’t have the answers / I have memories”. Stirring strings support her expressive voice as she wonders “maybe things are just as they seem”, meanwhile aching organs and steady guitars propel the song gently onwards.
Speaking on the single Boy Scouts pondered: “Why are we alive? Is there a point to any of this? Have I done this before? I was thinking about these questions like that, just playing with these ideas and being curious.” As the song progresses we get no closer to an answer to The Big Question, but that is the beauty of ‘Didn’t I’. Purposefully unhurried and measured vocals sit alongside equally leisurely instrumentation and we are all led into Boy Scouts’ slow-going world and given time to unwind. ‘Didn’t I’ certainly leaves us with more questions than answers but Boy Scouts’ affable vocals and soothing harmonies act like a balm to the anxieties which come hand in hand with being a person.
Boy Scouts will return soon with her new album, Wayfinder, in October. Named for how music has acted as her personal compass, the record sees Boy Scouts delve further into life’s big questions, and find gratitude in just being alive. It’s comforting to know that in our manic world, there are others who prefer to take a step back and just be. Maybe things really are just as they seem…
Words by Ella McLaren
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