“lovely harmonised tunes really stick with you” – Backseat Mafia
LOS ANGELES (July 20, 2020) – Westberg, the Gen X duo of Ariel Westberg and Scott Bruzenak (aka Noisecastle III), recognized their Boomer sensibilities had seasoned as they collected melodic fragments for their new EP, Boomer Studies, coming September 18th. Originally conceived as a droll affectation, inserting themselves as generational musical intermediaries between Gen Z and Boomers, Westberg and multi-platinum pop/electronic producer Bruzenak decidedly went “negative but nice this time around.”
The band flavors the album with their hallmark eclectic harmonic detours within a declaration of classic American songwriting. Running smack into a mushrooming pandemic in the process of creating the album, the duo’s offerings narrowed some anticipated cultural differences. As a consequence, historical parallels and human sentiments deepen their compositions’ more personal, reflective and hopeful messages, exactly when the country feels literally to be fracturing.
For those songs, the former latchkey kids show a facility for raiding their mental closets to resurrect easily relatable memories, while resisting a temptation to drift back into 90s Gen X pop, ala Nirvana and the Breeders. “We realized that we were feeling the most pungent nostalgia for music that was just passively playing in the background, made by baby boomers like Sheryl Crow and Tom Petty.”
The coalescence and pinnacle of that intention on the album is “Simple,” which features the multi ranging Westberg’s intentionally “bone dry” vocals strolling through a canopy of big guitar exclamation points that will be familiar to Petty fans. Though Westberg typically surprises by taking on characters and tones in her songs as the music shifts gears, here she summons the easy strains emanating through the suburbs from a car radio in the ’90s to channel the innocence of love. And we could all use that right now.
Boomer StudiesTrack Listing
- Living Proof
- Old Kid
- This Town Don’t Fuck Around
Having met as classical music majors “in the weirdest school in the U.S.,” Evergreen State College, the two Angelenos had explored Avant-Garde, jazz, rock, electro-folk, chamber pop and trip-hop. But Boomer Studies was a chance to strip it down and reflect. Their 2006 self-titled album received accolades from Nic Harcourt and continues to receive support on KCRW.