Bonneville drops ‘Beautiful One’

"It’s a banger, a head-bopper, and an all-around party jam, but upon closer inspection has a deep message of introspection and outward observation​"
16 February 2024

A Modern Retro Soul Anthem

Bonneville, acclaimed for their unique blend of retro soul and funky R&B, unveils Beautiful One, the third single from their anticipated album, Flying Machine. Rooted deeply in the South and dedicated to revitalizing the classic soul genre, Beautiful One by Bonneville has ascended to the top 10 on over 250 Spotify playlists.

Beautiful One is a vibrant, funk-filled track that combines a catchy chorus with introspective lyrics critiquing club culture and the selfie obsession. Diverging from their known retro-soul style, the song experiments with deep funk, house, and electronic elements, aiming to appeal to a broad audience while evoking memories of the acid jazz era.

The song, co-written by band members Jeff Hayashi and Wes McGee, reflects on self-worth and societal trends, inspired by personal experiences and the current digital age’s impact on relationships and self-image. Producer Starita’s collaboration has infused the track with a blend of electronic and live instrumentation, marking an evolution in Bonneville’s sound.

Jeff Hayashi ​, the band member and co-songwriter reveals.​ “This is our take on a club track. It’s a banger, a head-bopper, and an all-around party jam, but upon closer inspection has a deep message of introspection and outward observation​. The internet being a blessing and a curse has changed the landscape on how we present ourselves in society. With our lives on constant display, so many of us reach for that acceptance, that dopamine hit of popularity amongst strangers​. I hope that at the end of the day, people not only feel this groove and have fun with it, but each listener takes away their own perspective from the lyrics”.

Vocalist and co-songwriter Wes McGee offers his insights, stating, “Thematically, it is a commentary of the “pick me culture” in dating and in society, in general. Often, real connections are missed due to the epidemic of self-obsession where people would rather take a picture of themselves than actually live in the moment or bounce from one person to the next to avoid anything deeper than surface level interaction. I was just coming out of a break up and upon reflection, I saw there was a lot of “grass is always greener” energy from both sides. It was the resentment I had with my own behavior and the behavior my partner exhibited with wannabe influencer social media activity. This song is a call-to-arms about the negative behaviors men and women exhibit while dating and not really looking for what’s more meaningful,” In crafting the distinctive sound of ‘Beautiful One,’ McGee and Hayashi ventured beyond their usual stylistic confines, incorporating elements from pop and house music for a contemporary twist. Jeff was deeply inspired by Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ and the incredible harmonies achieved in that song.​

McGee​ explains: We took that methodology and put our spin on it​. At first, we had the vocals in a high falsetto but changed that because it was a bit distracting.” Hayashi adds, “As primary rhythm and lead guitarist on this track, I was going for a deep funk/post-disco vibe​. Being that it was originally written with just a vocal and one electric guitar, I had to keep a lot of the finished sound in my mind. I had a clear idea of the percussion, keys, and bassline, but I wanted to have an element of electronica in this song. I wrote a wide-open bridge so that Starita (producer) could do what he does best in the bridge/breakdown section.”

The band was ecstatic with the final version of the song. “Starita introduced a dark twist to an otherwise lively track, creating a fascinating and ironic contrast that I absolutely adore. Crafting this song from beginning to end was incredibly enjoyable,” notes Hayashi. McGee continues, “My hope is that it leaves fans eager to put it on repeat.”

Beautiful One aims to get listeners dancing while pondering its deeper message. As Bonneville prepares to release Flying Machine, they continue to explore new sounds while staying rooted in their musical heritage, promising more grooves and thoughtful lyrics ahead.

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