The Buoys are no strangers to rebelling hooks that leap out of the speakers, cementing their place in the souls of listeners. There is rigorous and prevailing attention to dynamism throughout their music, charged with upbeat and galvanised guitars and niftily gratified with expressive and emotive melodies. ‘Unsolicited Advice For Your DIY Disaster’ is six tracks worth of strength, heartbreak, familiarities, poetic genius and of course, self-discovery.
Commenting on the themes behind the EP, lead singer Zoe Catterall says:
It starts with the admission of leaning into bad habits and fantasies, and moves on to big ouch heart break, and then onto questioning what is important to you or what you want, before finishing on the realisation that you are happy where you ended up. Top to bottom in a way it outlines the relationship you have with yourself when going through the motions of navigating life, and your connection with others but mostly yourself.
The former hits the target repeatedly, aging like a fine wine with every listen. Fearless musical prowess and soaring vocal abilities combine for one of the most memorable choruses of 2021. The latter is a gut-wrenching, vulnerable display of discomfort and betrayal, with Catterall’s cathartic lyrical delivery latching onto the heart strings and raising hairs across the body.
In ‘Carpark’, it’s evident that renowned producer Fletcher Matthew (Sweater Curse, CLEWS, Dear Seattle) is getting the best out of the artists, as it resumes the earnest aesthetic that we were teased with in earlier releases. Precise percussion dictates the undulating flow as layers of prominent intricacies are added throughout, and each sung syllable systematically mirrors the beat in a remarkable post-chorus singalong.
‘Best Friend’ conveys a liberating culmination of melodious expertise while a leisurelier pulse nods to the ensuing progression of the EP’s story, with the lyrics reflecting on the poignant properties of the inevitable bonds we form. ‘Call It Quits’, the purifying penultimate track, taps into the idea of resolution with a simple chord progression that allows the courteous bass to shine through in brief instances, followed by gorgeous pinch harmonics from lead guitarist Hillary Geddes. Choral harmonies provide the stunning final touch before its abrupt ending.
Focus track and closing track ‘Drive Me Home’ wraps up the EP in a joyous discharge of spirit. Coming full circle with the initiative that kickstarted it all, The Buoys go all out with their sensitively stimulating capacity for compelling riffs, vigorous drums and therapeutic hooks. Swelling and building in undercurrents, Catterall’s concluding line, “I’ll figure it out without you around,” paves the way fora resounding, polyphonic finale.
The Buoys are virtually too good to be true. Pure and courageous in every second of material they write and perform, these fearless ladies are destined for greatness and prominence. ‘Unsolicited Advice For Your DIY Disaster’ does exactly what an indie-rock EP should do and more. It’s injected with energy and passion that explodes with instants of vivacity and purpose, while clearing space for the dramatic yet resilient episodes of emotional conviction. A stellar release from a skilful group of hard-working musicians.
Feature Photograph: Maya Launa