Bonsai Trees
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Bonsai Trees

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

New York, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Indie




"Bonsai Trees: Learn To Grow in Hartford Courant's top 20 albums of 2019"

Our picks for the top 20 albums in 2019 by Connecticut musicians
DEC 16, 2019 | 7:44 AM

The Connecticut music scene is robust enough that it would be easy to declare any given year the best in local music. But with such an abundance of new music in 2019, it was a truly daunting task to come up with our picks for the 20 best Connecticut albums of the year.
The number of quality albums that were pawed through for this list was immense. One thing that should be evident with these picks, including the 10 honorable mentions, is just how eclectic the statewide scene is.

Bonsai Trees: Learn To Grow
Bonsai Trees put out its debut album six years ago and that time has been spent honing its brand of poppy alt-rock through a handful of solid releases. The year saw them hand down their best record to date. Filled with a ton of radio-friendly hooks, indie vibes and pop-punk aesthetics, “Learn To Grow” is an album that could (and should) find a home in the record collections of a vast array of music fans. - Hartford Courant - Chip McCabe

"Bonsai Trees won the NEMA Award - Best Band in Connecticut 2019"

Bonsai Trees selected as Best in State: Connecticut
- 2019 New England Music Awards - New England Music Awards

"South Windsor Teen Wins New England RADAR Music Award 2016"

...Singer/songwriter James MacPherson was one of three talented young performers who won the 2016 New England RADAR (Rising Artist Detection and Recognition) Award on February 27, 2016, at a competition at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston.

...James is the lead singer and guitarist for the Connecticut band Bonsai Trees.

... - Hartford Courant - Hilory Wagner

"Bonsai Trees: Rockstar Guitar Tuition's Artist of the Month Nov 2013"

Artist of the Month – November – The awesome `Bonsai Trees`
Welcome to the first ever Rockstar Guitar Tuition `Artist of the Month. It`s November and our first band to win is the brilliant `Bonsai Trees` from Connecticut, USA. I`m actually pretty astounded that these guys are unsigned. Listen to their tunes, watch their videos. Everything about them just tells me it`s only a matter of time before a label picks them up.

The Band

Bonsai Trees are an alternative rock band from Connecticut that started in 2011 when James Macpherson (singer/guitarist) and Nick Sokol (drummer) met in Spanish class at their High School. The two began to build a friendship around their music, and quickly began writing songs for fun. As things got more serious, and the songs got a little more complex, the two set out on a search for a bass player to fill out the band’s sound. After auditioning a few people, Jimi Cryan joined the band as the bassist. First day of practicing with him on bass the song “Ronald Raygun” (brilliant name by the way) began its evolution into what became the second track on Bonsai Trees’s debut LP “Minimalist.
As the band kept practicing and writing new songs, they also began to land their first gigs. From charity events to raise money for music scholarships, to shows at locally renowned venue “The Space” in Hamden, CT. Averaging about 2-3 gigs a month over the last year Bonsai Trees has played in CT, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, various fairs and arts festivals, and even in a backyard. Bonsai Trees are currently writing new songs, practicing constantly, playing gigs, and working on new music videos and other media content to keep busy and to make a name for themselves.

With influences including the likes of Nirvana, The Strokes, Muse, Dismemberment Plan, Foo Fighters, there is a diverse range of songs on offer here.

Take a listen to the track `Hurricane Song` which was released as a split single with Mad Blackbirds (whose track Wax Wings is always a killer tune by the way) for a belting song. There`s multiple genres thrown into this piece of sublime beauty. All the way from 70`s infused melodic pop to 90`s pop punk and more in between. The way the song pulls you in and pushes you away whilst keeping you utterly entranced shows musical knowhow well beyond their years.

The guitarist

Guitarist and vocalist James Mcpherson has pretty simple setup. He plays a red Fender Jaguar and a blue D’Armond, through a Fender Hot Rod, with the legendary Big Muff pedal and a Line 6 delay multi pedal as his core effects.

The guitar work is often simple, yet very melodic and angular at the same time. More often than not the guitar is understated yet the big fuzz tones are as unmistakable to the band`s sound as is the distinct vocals of singer James, who shockingly sounds much more of a complete singer than many twice his age.

Inspired by players such as Albert Hammond Jr, Kurt Cobain, and Ritzy Bryan (from The Joy Formidable), you can hear the understated yet powerful modern indie rock influence all over his playing. Especially from the aforementioned Albert Hammond Jr. One thing James looks for in player is “Never playing more than is necessary for the song.” which I fully agree with.

James No.1 tip for new guitarists: “You need rhythm AND THEN chops, not just chops. I can’t tell you how many guitarists I’ve seen just start shredding in what sounds like a time signature that doesn’t exist. “

Favourite song – `Whatever Happened` by The Strokes, “I find the lyrics fascinating.”
Favourite guitar song – `I got Mine` by The Black Keys, “because while being fairly simple it requires an amazing groove. “
Favourite Bonsai Trees song to play – `Who Knows Who Knows` “because if I had a bad week I can just scream it all out with that song. “
You can download their debut album, `Minimalist` from Bandcamp. Check it out. It`s stunning.

Standout tracks

Hurricane Song
Who Knows
Finally being Honest with myself - Rockstar Guitar Tuition - Daniel Thorpe



Bonsai Trees is a powerhouse indie rock band co-founded and led by singer/songwriter/guitarist James MacPherson. James and original drummer Nick Sokol created a rock duo that ultimately became a full touring band with an extensive song catalog. Bonsai Trees has released 3 LPs, 2 EPs and several singles and has acquired millions of digital streams over the past decade. James and team are re-emerging post pandemic with a hot new line up for a US tour in Spring 2022.

Bonsai Trees won the 2019 New England Music Award for Best Band in CT. The band's most recent album Learn To Grow was selected as one of Hartford Courant's top 20 albums of 2019. James MacPherson won the 2016 New England RADAR Award for best singer/songwriter under 21.

Bonsai Trees
has a memorable sound that is fresh and relatable. Their published discography includes:

Easy to Forget (2022 April 15 release)
It's Gonna Be a No From Me Dog (2022 single)
Parallel (2022 single)
Hope Ya Do (2021 single)
Apology Note (2020 single)
Learn To Grow (2019 10-song LP)
Not Bitter (2017 11-song LP)
Live Free And Die (2015 5-song EP)
Hurricane Song (2015 single)
Minimalist (2013 12-song LP)
Bonsai Trees (2013 4-song EP)

Official Website:

Social media: @bonsaitreesband


Band Members