Single Review: Bokito – Better at Getting Worse

By on Monday, 3rd April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

When catchy guitar melodies of indie pop are combined with bouncy drum grooves heard in soca music, topped with superbly delivered vocal hooks that only want to make you sing along, you get ‘tropical indie’ music. It’s a term perfectly describing Bokito, who released their debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse’ last month.

The five-piece band, now based in London but individually coming from all over the British Isles, are an act unlike any other. Their melodic, catchy, tight songs are perfectly matched by their engaging live performances, excellently led by singer and frontman Moses Moorhouse. Taking influences from indie, soca, funk and roots music, Bokito have developed a style of music that directly signals to the natural human instinct to move and dance, all the while intricately masking thought-provoking messages within.

In the case of ‘Better at Getting Worse’, the song’s lyrics touches on the difficulty men have in dealing with and expressing emotion, described by the band as “a cautionary insight to the male psyche.” The grizzly yelps that precede each verse are more than just a textural effect: they are the sounds of a frustrated man, unable to express his inner emotions. To counteract these primal outbursts, the song sits on a carnival-like melodic hook that conveys a sense of playfulness. Played first on organ, and doubled up on by Joe Mashiter on guitar. The hook dips in and out of the song, which provides a sense of reassuring familiarity with each new section.

Moorhouse’s performance is unusual and beguiling within the band’s sound, his vocal lines are quite complex and meandering, but still conventional enough to prompt the listener to sing along. As the song structure develops, Moorhouse churns out brilliantly constructed top lines, each as bright and infectious as the last. Dynamics and delivery are of key importance in the track, and every member has a clear grasp of what he needs to do in order to make an impact. Where the band tightens up, the top line opens out, and as the instrumentation fluctuates in volume, Moorehouse implements vocal lines that counteract and support these changes flawlessly.

The release of ‘Better At Getting Worse’ is a very promising start for Bokito. The band provides the perfect blend of technicality and musicality over conventional harmony, which opens them up to a wider audience. We’re looking forward to hearing more from them in the near future.

8.5/10

‘Better At Getting Worse’, the debut single by London-based Bokito, is out now via Lost in the Manor Records. If you’re keen to catch Bokito live, you can do so at the famed Lock Tavern in Camden this coming Wednesday the 5th of April, at Dublin Whelans on the 28th of April, plus at The Great Escape 2017 on the 20th of May at the Queens Hotel.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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