Fergus Miller is Bored Nothing, one of the many super washed-out punk projects whose name coincidentally enough is synonymous with Miller’s musical concept. Bored Nothing has just released his long-worked for and long-awaited second studio album, apathetically titled Some Songs. Judging from Miller’s previous work, one could expect a second LP with similarly angsty narratives of couch surfing as the first; but surprisingly, Some Songs overflows with storytelling, ‘jangly’ upbeat tracks, and even edges into the darker corners of shoe-gaze. Basically, rather than just being a collection of, well, some songs, the 13-track album is an insight into a solitary life with its musical explorations ranging far and wide.
The vague, echoing and stand-offish tunes make the album a little hard to enjoy at first. However, it soon delves deeper into narrative; coming quite a distance from Bored Nothing’s self-titled debut LP. Some Songs oozes four-tracked, soft drum beats that still sound ‘D.I.Y’ — proof that Miller has stuck to his low-fi roots. Garnished by intriguing lyrics that birth curiosity, the album eventuates into a somewhat addictive listen.
The album shows Miller as being more ready to write than before, with his experiences, creative subjects and characters weaving their way throughout. Songs that span genres of shoe-gaze with resounding synths and extended, burnt-out intros, make it hard to assign this project to one genre root. In saying this, Miller doesn’t want to create a new genre as other musicians often attempt with their second full-length releases. Rather, he relies on what he does best — husky vocals, true lyricism and easy-on-the-ears guitar; a combination that subconsciously scales a slew of emotions, from the utmost resignation to a comfortable contentment.
Of course, low-fi production gets thrown around a lot, making up 80% of this album. While many bands fall flat on their faces without the aid of top-notch production, Miller’s embracing of the simpler side of recording makes it an easy listen. ‘Where Do I Begin’ and ‘Come Back Too’ make use of fuzzed-out guitars and screeching solos, resonating somewhat with The Smiths’ ‘The Queen Is Dead’. A high level of attitude transmits through effortless vocals as the album goes back and forth between low-fi and a chill-wave creations. Influences from Elliott Smith to Wild Nothing seep their way into tracks like ‘Now’ and ‘Ultra-Lites’; all using the thin, whispered vocals that make haunting some of the otherwise unassuming tracks.
There’s something oddly overwhelming about the album’s lyrics; from “the guy at Seven Eleven” in ‘Ultra-Lites’ to “we could fuck all day” in lead single ‘Ice-Cream Dreams’. Eventually, one comes to realise that these lines wouldn’t stand out if it weren’t for the discrete lyricism throughout the rest of the album; a testament to Miller’s ability to make his lyrics hit hard when he wants them to. Songs like ‘Not’ and even smaller tracks like ‘Ultra Lites’ are short and sweet; making them powerful highlights on the album as well as reminders that prog-rock running-times haven’t found their way into everything just yet. The album is an all-rounder of Miller’s beautifully written, intrusive, but always in-the-know lyricism; giving one the sense that you’ve accidently unlocked his diary.
Some Songs is made up of highs and lows, including nonchalant swearing in nearly every song, the experience of chill-wave versus shoe gaze, and a powerful way with words which hold elusive daydream recollections. It is nothing less than an open portal to a visual diary; with most songs coming off as potential singles. While it does drag on somewhat and contains a general absence of pop hooks; Some Songs nonetheless provides a seamless stream of consciousness that demands the listener’s attention; perhaps designed for the long train rides and lonelier moments of a generation more scruffy, stimulated and yet, more bored than ever before.
Some Songs was released on October 24th on Spunk Records.