Bonny Doon (ANTI- Records) + Anna St. Louis (Woodsist)

By The Miniplex (other events)

Friday, July 7 2023 9:00 PM 11:59 PM PDT

Bonny Doon emerged in 2014, its four members pivoting away from their punk origins to create something restrained and steeped in contemplation. Songwriters Bill Lennox and Bobby Colombo expanded their ongoing collaboration to include drummer Jake Kmiecik and bassist Joshua Brooks. From there Bonny Doon took form, developing a sound indebted as much to musical touchstones like Neil Young and the Silver Jews as it was to the emotional landscapes of their always changing hometown of Detroit.

The group recorded what became a self-titled 7” in the summer of 2014, tracked by Fred Thomas in his living room. A tape of 4-track demos, “Classical Days and Jazzy Nights,” followed in 2015, before reenlisting Thomas to record their texturally dense debut LP, which melded their penchant for time-honored songcraft with production heavy on tape-delay and glowing, roomy sonics. The album was released on Salinas in early 2017, as the band was already deep into work on material for a follow-up. Working in a studio for the first time, they captured a more spare and vulnerable sound and signed on with Woodsist to release the resultant album, Longwave.

American songwriter Anna St. Louis took notes from a wide spectrum of classic folk and country artists when forming her dusty, wistful sound, but sculpted those inspirations into something uniquely her own. Relocating to Los Angeles after college, St. Louis fell in with a scene of like-minded music-makers, eventually releasing her debut cassette, First Songs, on Kevin Morby's Mare label in 2017. Press for this homespun release was glowing, and the next year St. Louis released a proper debut in the form of If Only There Was a River on the Woodsist label.

Anna St. Louis grew up in Kansas City, interested in painting and singing with punk bands throughout her youth. She attended art school in Philadelphia and relocated to Los Angeles after graduating around 2013. Moving into creating solo music, St. Louis looked to the influence of evergreen favorites like Neil Young, Patsy Cline, Elizabeth Cotten, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, wrapping these jumping-off points around a melancholy and decidedly Midwestern approach to bare-bones indie folk. Her first songs appeared in 2015 in the form of rough online demos. Roughly a year after First Songs, St. Louis' debut full-length, If Only There Was a River, was released, with production help from Morby and King Tuff's Kyle Thomas. Promotional touring surrounded the album's release, including dates opening for Waxahatchee.