J Bengoy – Bleached
SONG OF THE DAY
“Bleached” by J Bengoy is an atmospheric, jazzy ballad full of wistfulness. The song evokes a not-so-long past day when “We were so young and naive / Didn’t know just how to feel,” with layered musical elements that create a gentle wall of shifting breezes.
We are eased into “Bleached” by softly strummed E-chords as the droning low E creates a comforting rumble. Twenty-three seconds in, we are introduced to a ringing guitar figure that will be repeated throughout the song. The simple melody and the four-note chorus are almost hypnotic, with only the bridge offering anything approaching complexity. The result is a song that is beautiful, passes too quickly, and lingers in the recesses of your memory along with the half-remembered days spent with someone whose name has passed beyond recall.
J Bengoy, based in Burlington, Vermont, is Justin Barton (keys, vocals), Charlie Hill (guitar, vocals), Greg Heelan (guitar), Ryan Jory (bass, backing vocals), and Patrick Freeman (drums, guitar, backing vocals). “Bleached” is from their new 11-track LP, Dogwood Winter. The album’s music is attributed collectively to the band, while lyrics were provided by Charlie, Greg, and Justin (who wrote the lyrics for “Bleached”).
On their Bandcamp page, the band describes the album as “our collective experiences with youth and the exit from it… As days pass, our memories tend to take on a rosy hue. Dogwood Winter excavates those memories and takes another look, trying to re-discover what was lost over time.” The album covers a range of musical styles, bound together with an engaging pop feel. Every song on the LP could have been a Song of the Day, and I spent a large amount of time deciding which track to feature. My second choice was the country-tinged “Simpsons.” What the heck. Let’s play two!
You can support deserving independent musicians like J Bengoy by visiting their Bandcamp page and downloading Dogwood Winter. J Bengoy’s music is also available on Soundcloud, Apple Music, and Spotify. Be sure to visit the band’s website, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.