Bon Savants
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Bon Savants


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"Bon Savants: Post Rock Defends the Nation Review"

Bon Savants Post-Rock Defends the Nation Sifting through a mountain of unsigned music each day can crush a man’s spirits. Most of it is crappy, some of it has “potential,” but every once in a while, well, you find something special. You toss it in your computer or CD player (grandpa) and, “Yes!” Finally your hope in the next generation of musicians is restored, and all is right with the universe once again. This is the case with Bon Savants. By “Why This Could Never Work Between Us” (song No. 2), I was astounded that this band had no label representation. The music is crisp and fresh like the romaine lettuce at Whole Foods. It pops like Bubbalicious with purple-grape candy goodness and is packed to the brim like the garbage can in my kitchen with thoughtful, witty and inspired lyrics about love, life, death and atom bombs. In fact, we at Tripwire like these guys so much, we invited them to open our July 23 free concert in Brooklyn (which turned out more than 4,000 fans!). - UR Chicago

"Savants Frontman named Boston's Best Male Vocalist 2006"

There are indie acts who get plenty of national buzz despite their vocalists’ tendencies to squawk or bray instead of, you know, singing. Thom Moran, the charismatic frontman of the Bon Savants, will never have that problem. His quartet has guitars as evocatively scratchy and melodies as wistfully distant as any blogger’s favorites, but the irreplaceable cornerstone of their sound is Moran’s wry, polished croon. Moran’s generous vocal range and classic, luxurious cool come laced with a hint of unhinged danger. Every syllable speaks volumes: he sells foreboding lines like “I am the end of the world/A 12-minute warning ’til a nuclear morning” with an ambiguously winking tone, and his timbre can flip in an instant from velvet to hysterics. His is an artfully staged persona, and you can tell that Moran enjoys playing it to the hilt. But he also has a disarming way of taking listeners into his confidence, whether he’s boozing away a breakup (“Mass. Ave. and Broadway”) or suggesting a rendezvous (“What We Need”). Moran’s already finished recording and co-producing with Bill Racine the band’s debut album, Post-Rock Defends the Nation, and it should be out before the end of the year. It’s an agile, moody set that could easily set the Bon Savants on a course to wider exposure.
_Simon W. Vozick-Levinson - Boston Phoenix, June 2006

" Review of Post-Rock..."

Reason number one that you should listen to our Tripwire Push Upstairs podcast: You might discover something new that you like, a lot. I have to admit it; I hadn't heard of Boston's Bon Savants before checking out Robert's podcast, and it's kind of surprising. They encompass everything I like about good music. Amazing vocals, great music that is perfect for a sunny summer day and they are only about three hours from my home base to boot. Who knew?

While Bon Savant's new album, Post Rock Defends The Nation, comes out very soon (only available at shows and online through their site), their sampler EP is a great introduction into the band. It also hosts four songs that will be on the full length that was produced by Bill Racine (Rouge Wave). I have to be honest, I was weary when I heard that their vocalist sounded like Jarvis Cocker; you don't mess with Pulp. I had flashbacks to that crappy band called Rialto that even stole the art idea from This Is Hardcore for their album cover. My fear was quickly turned into love upon hearing the opening track, "Between The Moon And The Ocean." Yes, the vocal stylings are very Jarvis Cocker-ish, but Bon Savants hold their own and clearly possess indie songwriting talent in the vein of Built To Spill.

Moving along, the foursome takes a complete 180-degree turn with "Tip Of Our Tongues." The huge fuzzy guitars are reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and guide the song with echoed harmonies. "I Am The Atom Bomb" and "Why This Could Never Work Between Us" are both equally as good and feature the same big Britpop/rock guitar work of the other tracks. If this is any indication of where the full length is going then we are all in for a massive treat.

Bon Savants are going to have a residency at New York City's Pianos in July. Check them out live, I know that I am.

-Erin Chandler -, July 2006

"Big Takeover: Post Rock Defends the Nation"

Wow. I really do seem to pick good stuff. Yay for me! Bon Savants debut is exactly like the sound of their name: graceful, alluring, classy and smooth. 'Between The Moon And The Ocean'' is top-drawer singles material with funny lyrics ("Oh You Kiss Like A Russian") and a swaggering melody. Superb. Some tracks are more garage-influenced('What We Need') and the title track is a slow,simmering duet. Hard to believe this band is from the U.S.. This is a killer Britpop record.....from Boston. Another amazing fact: main member Thom Moran is also a Rocket Scientist from MIT(really). Shame that the title has little to do with this debut's ace pop material. I just hope that an oxymoronic title doesn't divert a single buyer from this awesome cd.
- Big Takeover

"Urb Magazine: Post Rock Defends the Nation - 4.5 of 5"

It’s not every day that I hear an album that can take a little bit of Starsailor and mix it with the melodies of The Doves. The Bon Savants can fulfill that much-needed little rock’n’roll niche with music that plays to the soul. Songs like “Between the Moon and the Ocean” sound like pop favorites with vocals that have The Doves’ style mixed with sweet post-romanticore lyrics (“Oh, you kiss like a Russian / We sank so low between the moon and the ocean, oh”). The title song, “Post Rock Defends the Nation,” provides a melodious slow-burned duet that showcases the strong vocals and composure of these good scientists. The Bon Savants have something here and it feels like it has a personal flavor in the message. While nations can be destroyed, we can take the Bon Savant’s advice: form a rock’n’roll band and defend the things that are important to us. – Josef Carmelo, November 2006 - Urb

"He's Got it Down to a Science"

Never tell a rocket scientist "it's not rocket science" — particularly a guy who issues a short treatise on how music defies the Second Law of Thermodynamics along with a copy of his album.

"Some of the scientists I know think it's a little bit shaky," concedes Thom Moran, singer-guitarist of the Boston indie-rock band Bon Savants (French for "good scientists") with a laugh. "But in a way, music is introducing more order to the universe than you have a right to."

Suffice to say Moran (day job: project coordinator for rocket launches at an MIT research laboratory) has given the matter some thought, which may or may not help listeners sort out the narratives on the Bon Savants' debut album, "Post-Rock Defends the Nation."

Not really post-rock (Moran says the title song references the moment in Germany when he wrote it), Bon Savants' music recalls the heady stylings of the likes of the National, Spoon and Magnetic Fields, textured just enough to command attention to Moran's observations on love, loss and quantum mechanics.

Begun as a collaboration with Kevin Haley — who has since left the band "to have a normal life," Moran says — Bon Savants is taking a DIY approach. Label-less, manager-less and having only recently hooked up with a booking agent, they self-released the album this week.

"We joke about that — Bon Savants, indie as ... " says Moran, who with band mates Dave Wessel, Andrew Dole, Craig Hendrix and Brian Hamilton opens for the Wrens at the Troubadour on Friday. "But things have managed to fall our way." - LA Times

"Review: Post Rock Defends the Nation - 8 of 10"

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to craft good music, but it definitely doesn’t hurt Thom Moran’s efforts in the Bon Savants, the Brooklyn-based indie rock quartet. When he’s not fronting the curiously unsigned group, the boy is putting in time at MIT. For serious.

Whatever hypothesis, theory, or procedure the band is testing out with Post-Rock Defends the Nation, the stated conclusion is that they have the chops for stardom. Their debut album, which has been in the making since 1997, is full of sly soothers and bratty rockers about love, loss, and yes, the science of things.

“What We Need,” the album opener, rolls in with Moran’s smooth vocals that are charmingly lackadaisical yet evocatively intelligent. He’s the guy who sat in the back row and occasionally graced everyone with comments that had people paying attention because he was the undisputed genius in the room. The smart slacker takes listeners by the elbow and guides them through the first four mid-tempo tracks, plays around with some call-and-response in the title track, and lets you go so he can let loose on “Mass Ave and Broadway.”

You could argue, “If they’re so good, why’d it take them so long to put out their debut and why are they still unsigned?” But you can’t argue with science, and sometimes, the best discoveries and creations only happen with some time and luck.

Spoon, Pulp, and Magnetic Fields should take heed — these “good scientists” have set up their lab near you. - Venus Zine

"Review: Post Rock Defends the Nation - A+"

After listening to Bon Savants’ stunning debut, Post-Rock Defends The Nation, more than a few times, one overriding question arises repeated. How does this band not have a contract with a record label? There are at least seven tracks on this disc that could be huge hits and the album, from this unsigned band and this is undoubtedly one of the top albums of the year.

The opening track, “What We Need,” seems to owe a debt of thanks to the Strokes’ “Is This It,” though only tangentially and that does not diminish from the track’s impact. “Between The Moon And The Ocean” is a heartbreaking pop masterpiece that crosses over into instant classic status with the lyric “And as I watched you fall, the moon reflection recalled the love I killed that night.” The crazy thing is, the album is full of verses that are nearly as breathtaking.

It is clear that the stars were aligned when this album was created: There isn’t a bum note or misplaced word on the album. The entire disc rings true with a passion and humility that is as much science as it is art, which makes more sense when you find out that Moran’s day job is rocket scientist at MIT and that he formed the band shortly after being stabbed and left for dead on a Boston sidewalk.

It has been years since a debut this auspicious has crossed my desk. It’s genuinely thrilling, the rare disc that is sweeping in its scope (“Why This Could Never Work Between Us,” “Post-Rock Defends The Nation,” and “Go To The Sun” all fall into this category) and polished to a diamond sheen, able to cut through to your heart before you even know that an incision has been made. Bon Savants might be unsigned today, but they won’t be for long. It’s impossible to not listen to this disc over and over again. Brilliant. -

"Review: Post Rock Defends the Nation"

Bon Savants frontman Thom Moran is one suave motherhumper. His vocal range runs the gamut from a testosterone depth that causes spontaneous female orgasms to a Prince-like falsetto appointed with Brian Wilson-like harmonies to a fluttering Bryan Ferry approximation that splits the difference. He writes sparklingly clever songs with touches of cynical charm like a cross between Ray Davies and Stephin Merritt, and he is - my hand to God - a rocket scientist. Of course, Moran’s not alone in Bon Savants; he couldn’t make the swinging, stinging indie rock confluence of Roxy Music, Spoon, Magnetic Fields, Brian Eno and Pulp contained on the band’s debut album, Post Rock Defends the Nation, without guitarist/co-founder Kevin Haley, bassist Dave Wessels and drummer/Berklee grad Andrew Dole. Bon Savants are gritty yet sophisticated, an artful balance of urbane pop melody and shrieking dissonance that is engaging, complex, entertaining and thought-provoking all at once. With this Post Rock defending the nation, who needs homeland security? - Amplifier

"Unsigned Artist with Potential to Break into the Big Time"

Bon Savants leader Thomas Moran left his post as a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to prep for the release of his band's debut, "Post Rock Defends the Nation." A catchy mix of atmospheric rock/pop, the self-released, self-financed album will be issued Nov. 7 in the United States, and Moran is getting anxious.

"By 'financed' that means I'm deeply and irrevocably in debt," he says. "I actually considered calling our vanity imprint Tom's 401(k), since it's what used to be my 401(k). But if things don't go well, I can be back at my job in December."

That shouldn't be a problem, as the band's spacey, British-inspired guitar rock will be serviced to U.S. retailers via Junketboy, the independent distribution arm of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores, and sent to college radio by Cornerstone Promotion. The album was produced by Bill Racine, who recently worked with Sub Pop act Rogue Wave, and the Bon Savants will tour the United States this winter. As for a label, Moran has been a bit too overwhelmed to worry about it. "This is already so far beyond any expectations we had," he says.

- Billboard


"Post-Rock Defends the Nation"
e to the i pi music (self-release) 2006
produced by T. Moran, mixed and co-produced by Bill Racine (Rogue Wave, The Comas)

Lunch Records 4x4 Sampler
Lunch Records 2004
produced by T. Moran



Reviews of Post Rock Defends the Nation, e to the i pi Music

"Bon Savants debut is exactly like the sound of their name: graceful, alluring, classy and smooth."
-Big Takeover Magazine, May 2007

“Music that plays to the soul.�
-Urb Magazine - 4.5 of 5

“Full of sly soothers and bratty rockers about love, loss, and yes, the science of things.�
-Venus Zine - 8 of 10

“Undoubtedly one of the top albums of the year� - A+

“With a metallic comfort like that of a pet robot, the Bon Savants’ debut album is primitively magnetic, questionably inhuman, and obviously progressive.�
-QRO Magazine - 8.3 of 10

“Bon Savants are gritty yet sophisticated, an artful balance of urbane pop melody and shrieking dissonance that is engaging, complex, entertaining and thought-provoking all at once.�
-Amplifier Magazine

Bon Savants started in 2004 as a collaboration between singer and principal songwriter Thom Moran and his long time friend and musical conspirator Kevin Haley. David Wessel (bass) and Andrew Dole (drums) bought into this. They wrote songs and performed them. In 2006, when the touring and other full-time commitments were imminent with the release of their debut album, Kevin made a graceful exit from the band to maintain such luxuries as a steady relationship and rent money. Everyone understood. Never satisfied with status quo, the band added two musicians to replace him. Brian Hamilton (keys) played his first Bon Savants show to a crowd of 3,000 at McCarren pool in July, 2006, and soon after that Craig Hendrix (guitar) moved to Boston from Barcelona to join the team. Everything clicked.

Bon Savants independently released their debut album Post Rock Defends the Nation in the US, UK, and Japan on November 7, 2006. As the politically astute will recall, this was the very same election day that American politics underwent a long awaited progressive shift in Congress. Coincidence? Sure, but a good one. Critical Affection for Post Rock poured in from such diverse sources as URB Magazine,, LA Times, Magnet, Billboard, Big Takeover, Amplifier, Venus Zine, and Rolling Stone Russia. The band was picked up by Tag Team Media for publicity (Walkmen, Tegan & Sara) and Big Shot Touring (Decemberists, Walkmen, The National). Two subsequent national tours were a mix of headline gigs, support for the likes of The Wrens, Menomena, and the Editors, and festival showcases at SXSW, CMJ, and headlining Northeastern outdoor festivals. Thom was named as Boston’s Best Male Vocalist by the Boston Phoenix in 2006 and 2007.

Though Post Rock… is still fresh to the music public, the newest incarnation of Bon Savants has been writing prolifically and road testing new material for a follow-up studio recording in winter 2007. Thom’s solo performances with ukulele have gained reknown in Boston, highlighted by a recent performance at the Boston Symphony in support of the Boston Pops Edge Fest. Bon Savants support the Pendulum Project (, a non-profit humanitarian effort to assist child victims of the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Film & TV Licensing: Marcy Bulkeley,