I did an experiment to satisfy my own curiosity and looked up the word ‘boys’ in iTunes. The first hit was of a Britney Spears song I don’t even remember, so it couldn’t have been anywhere near as good as ‘Toxic.’ Then there was a Nicki Minaj tune I’d never heard of (and I’m almost embarrassingly acquainted with the oeuvre of Ms. Minaj). There was also a cut from The Beatles’ Please Please Me, the best of the bunch. The only song I listen to with any frequency bearing this particular title is by M.I.A. And she couldn’t spell it right (although for the record, the nursery rhyme chanting about gang culture is subversive as ever).
My experiment was to see if there was any song called ‘Boys’ that sounded even remotely bleak. I searched for a long time. I think the answer was almost a resounding no. With this one exception. After once comparing Daniel Cochran, lead vocalist of The Belly of Paris, to Matt Berninger, perhaps it’s not surprising that their newest offering a singular beast of work that’s epic in both atmosphere and scale (if you’ve got a fear of anything over four minutes long, turn back from whence you came). Comparisons to The National end there though. ‘Boys’ is taken from the Bahrain-based band’s upcoming album Peste and bears all the hallmarks of a great dark folk song. It’s music that might put your bones in jeopardy of being crushed thanks to its intensity. That is, if it weren’t for the beauty that takes your spirit away on a long and emotional journey.
Listen to ‘Boys’ below. It’s a free download as well!