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Walking Through Walls – Being A Boy

Despite a personal insistence that I’m not long in tooth (I’m only thirty for god’s sake), it’s still a rare and exciting prospect when something I’m reviewing surprised me for the better. That was exactly what happened with “Being A Boy”, the new single from Chelmsford two-piece Walking Through Walls.

Such phrasing assumes that I had at least an idea of what I’d been asked to review, but with little more information than the album art, and the band name/track title, it was a matter of going in blind, though it was fortunate I did.

Bedroom Pop, like all genres over the years, has twisted and contorted itself and become a genre that, by and large, leaves me cold. “Being A Boy” is Bedroom Pop in both its purest and its most recent sense. Understated and subtle with a vocal delivery that often feels stifled within the mix, “Being A Boy” for the most part also ticks these boxes.

So why is it so fucking good?

There’s (at least) two reasons. Firstly, the production on this is exquisite. From its opening icy synth line, skittering electronic drums and airy understated drones, it’s clear that this isn’t your average bedroom composition. There’s a musical nuance and understanding that belies the band’s young years, and while the textures and instrumentation are shifting constantly, nothing ever feels overdone or overwrought.

Which brings us to the vocals. Often these feel like something of an afterthought as far Bedroom Pop is concerned, and they’re certainly not a focal point of the track here. But nor do they feel surplus either. Instead they provide some additional timbre; an almost additional bassline that helps keep “Being A Boy” grounded.

While absolutely not my usual genre, the fact remains that the composition and production are such that “Being A Boy” is impossible to ignore. Bringing to mind the likes of Tycho or maybe even Bonobo, this is the new benchmark for Bedroom Pop.