Jonathan Boulet
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Jonathan Boulet

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
Band Pop Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Boulet Headline Show Review (Saturday June 30 2012)"

Beneath a new and impressive beard, Jonathan ‘Rip Van Winkle’ Boulet takes the stage. With two drumsets, guitars dominating over vocals, and minus the light percussion of the marimba, opener ‘Black Smokehat’ sets the scene for a high-energy set with a heavier timbre than that which fans may have anticipated. By way of ‘90s bands analogy, Boulet’s sound is closer tonight to the “I Am You Are Me” frenetic chanting of The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘One Big Mob’ than the “Hey Oh Mah Mah Mah” melodic chorus of Dario G’s ‘Sunchyme’. Recently released We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart gets a look in via ‘Hallowed Hag’, ‘Mangle Trang’, ‘FM AM CB TV’ and ‘This Song Is Called Ragged’ (gasp, that bullet art videoclip!), whilst ‘321 Ready Or Not’, ‘Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die’ and, of course, ‘Community Service Announcement’ show that Boulet hasn’t forgotten the self-titled EP that got him here. - The Brag

"Jonathan Boulet, Wolf & Cub, Oh Ye Denver Birds @ The Hifi, Brisbane (29/06/2012)"

With the set he played at 2010’s edition of Splendour In The Grass currently reaching legendary status, the release of We Keep The Beat has established Jonathan Boulet’s arrival on the national popular music scene. While in the safe confines of folk-pop territory, the new album finds Boulet pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in the genre filling all available spaces with layers of claps, gang vocals, gibberish guitars, organs, synths and a seemingly endless array of percussion. The result is a disc full of the sound and energy of Sydney’s indie scene. Ragged in places and overwhelmingly massive in others, Boulet’s second album is one of sonic disparity that will need some beating on a lot of end of year album of the year lists (yeah, I’m calling it early).

The HiFi’s curtains are drawn revealing the band already on stage and opening with drum and guitar stabs before easing into the dark Black Smokehat with it’s refrain of “Oh my God, you are dead”. Boulet and his band seem confident and at ease as they animatedly rock through several well-received cuts from We Keep The Beat as well as one or two from Boulet’s 2010 release.

The xylophone hook was replaced with a guitar on This Song Is Called Ragged with the song losing none of it’s gentle urgency or catchiness but the crowd really responded to the follow-up, the anthemic Mangled Trang. The gang vocals of Trounce unite the crowd and Boulet seems astonished when he finds the front rows singing back at him “I don’t even know what I said, I’m not in control of myself” the bombastic drumming tying everything together.

It would be impossible to talk about this gig without mentioning the dueling drummers – err, drummer and percussionist. The two played pummeling beats of lightning rolls and inventive tom-laden fills throughout the show, locking eyes and sharing an understanding that you would think would take years to cultivate. With that in mind it was surprising to hear that Rebecca (the percussionist) had only been with the band for two gigs prior to this one.

Boulet closed the set with his 2010 Triple J flogged A Community Service Announcement and the epic tom-driven call to arms of album opener You’re A Animal which works the crowd up with cries of “I will soldier on” at the forefront of their textured ocean of sound and driving beats. Boulet thanked the crowd and lead his band off stage. Tonight’s is a short set but still the most engaging gig this reviewer has seen all year and if it’s any indication of what Boulet and his band are capable of, they can expect to be playing much bigger venues in the not too distant future. - Faster Louder

"Jonathan Boulet's Garage Pop Adventure Rock"

At just 21, Jonathan Boulet doesn’t get fazed by much. Ask the Sydney singer-songwriter what it’s like hearing his first single “A Community Service Announcement” all over Triple J and he says he “doesn’t listen to the radio much.” All the attention’s been “not too bad” and hip hop star Kayne West personally pimping its video on his blog with the headline PLEASE WATCH THIS – IT’S FUCKING AMAZING”, well, that’s “cool but weird.”

What Boulet does get excited about is making music and given the quality of his debut album he has every right. Bursting with blissful tribal pop and feverish harmonies, it captures a wonderfully naïve sense of freedom and hope, like the last day of school or the first day of summer.

“It comes from listening to bands like Sigur Ros and Sufjan Stevens who write beautiful music,” he says over (ginger) beers in Sydney’s Civic Hotel an hour before his album launch in December. “You hear bands like that and you’re like ‘man, I want to write a beautiful song.’”

When it comes to music, Boulet started early. He learnt to play drums at age ten and taught himself guitar when his friend left his behind after practice. At school in Sydney’s Castle Hill, music was the only class that mattered.

“The teacher would say we had to do theory, but we’d always chant ‘Prac! Prac!’” he recalls. “We’d always get our way and ended up jamming on instruments almost every period.”

When he wasn’t studying music at uni, he was drumming for Parades, an art rock band formed with his school friends who still practise in his family garage. “At first we shared the garage with the cars, but eventually we moved them out and took over,” laughs Boulet. “It’s become our permanent band room.”

Between classes and rehearsals, he wrote and recorded his own songs that alternated between heavy punk and “weird electronic stuff”. For a change, he started working on some indie pop tunes and penned ‘Continue Calling’, a track that would eventually open his album and established that joyous pop sound he wanted to explore.

“It’s just fun group music,” he shrugs as a woman tentatively approaches our table. “It’s not too exclusive or cryptic. It’s fun and straight up so everyone can get involved… oh, this is my mum”

“Oh shit, sorry I’m interrupting,” says Mrs Boulet after introductions. Jonathan, obviously not fazed by doing interviews with his mum either, encourages her to join us.

So what does mum think of the album? “I think it’s fantastic,” she beams. Favourite tracks? “I like all of them. It’s got a lot of textures and layers.” And is she ready for her son to become a rockstar? She smiles “It’s his life. He’s perfectly capable of making his own decisions.”

He’s certainly done alright so far. After firing off ‘A Community Service Announcement’ to the blogosphere and getting great reviews back, he caught the attention of Modular Records (home of The Presets, Cut Copy) who signed him globally (even Boulet admits that news was pretty thrilling). He rushed a new band together from uni friends and was supporting label mates Tame Impala nationally within three months.

And of course, when he’s not doing press or prepping for his first headline tour next month, he’s still constantly writing in his garage. “Actually I was thinking for the next album maybe I’ll write and record it in a different room. Like maybe the dining room, you know, so it’s a bit fresh,” he jokes.

“I’m happy for him to use the garage of course,” says mum with a smile, “but I would like to get it back some day.”

We don’t like her chances. - Rolling Stone Magazine

"Jonathan Boulet"

Hello and welcome to the sound of youth. Over 11 tracks, Jonathan Boulet communicates youthful abandonment, wonderment and teenage frivolity on his debut album, recorded over three years in a makeshift studio that once functioned as his parents’ garage. Initially, I was pretty confused by Boulet’s self-titled first effort. For what is ostensibly a pop record, there’s nary a chorus in sight, but I guess in this post-Kid A world, we’ve got Radiohead to blame for that. However, I’ve found myself returning to this album over the past couple of weeks, unconsciously selecting it on my iPod as the soundtrack for my walk to work. It’s because Jonathan Boulet has an undeniable and endearing energy to it.
Even though Boulet produced the album himself – he also played most of the instruments sans one or two – the music has a strong communal vibe. It’s as if it was recorded around the campfire with a bunch of friends, with big acoustic guitar chords, handclaps and multiple voices. On a nylon-string acoustic, Boulet introduces the album with ‘Continue Calling’, embellishing the chords with layered vocals and a chorus of chaotic handclaps.
Boulet was schooled as a drummer (he plays for Sydney outfit Parades), and as such brings a strong rhythmic element to these tracks. Opting for circular, amorphous song structures rather than your typical verse/chorus thing, the music has a tribal mentality, particularly on a song like ‘Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die’, which is driven by rolling, marching-band drums. ‘321 Ready Or Not’ is in a similar vein, it’s just got a far stranger and awkward time signature to it.
Boulet manages to marry his natural predilection for rhythm with a warmer aesthetic on the beguiling ’10 Billion Years’, enlisting the honeyed vocals of fellow Parades member Bec Shave, whose presence is also felt on ‘Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die’. For a record that deals so much with youth and young manhood, it’s ostensibly the only love song. “Sleep, sleep, darling you need to close your eyes,” Shave sings so melodiously on ’10 Billion Years’. “I’ll be right here, right by your side.” Just like the overriding joie de vivre in the music, Boulet exudes the same sense of abandonment in his lyrics, as only a record written by a teenager can (the overwhelming cynicism of adulthood has yet to crush him). “We just want to sing, sing/We just want to dance,” Boulet chants in ‘321 Ready Or Not’. “Take over the whole world/Just give us a chance.”
The challenge of any album written and recorded over a three-year period is thematic consistency. Songs like ‘Lay Off The Streets For A While’ and ‘A Community Service Announcement’, which appear towards the end of the album, feel better produced than their predecessors. (Although, Boulet recently admitted that his production skills naturally got better over the recording process). Some of the songs feel out of place too. ‘Lay Off The Streets...’ recalls ‘Myxomatosis’ off Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief with its lead bass and jerky rhythms, while ‘Adam Of Zilla’, with its reliance on ProTools and electronic beats, sounds more Parades than Jonathan Boulet.
Boulet, it seems, is at best when he’s earthy and joyous, rather than clinical and robotic. And yet, it’s the collusion of the warm with the synthesised that works perfectly on ‘A Community Service Announcement’, which is perhaps his best track. Rounding off the 11-track journey so beautifully – it couldn’t have been placed any earlier because it would have overshadowed the album as an entity – the song is an indie-pop gem. Anchored by a simple keyboard riff, which is mimicked by guitar, it’s a definitive musical statement that heralds Boulet as a recording artist. “Here we are, we are,” he sings. “Are we on top?” It’s youth, in all its celebratory forms.
by Dom Alessio - mess and noise

"Jonathan Boulet + The John Steel Singers + Guineafowl - The Factory Theatre (19.03.11)"

Jonathan Boulet and his band of merry men had copious amounts of energy flying about from the get-go. Clearly unperturbed by the three quarters full Factory, they commenced their punchy, percussion-filled, rock music with “321 Ready Or Not”. Boulet’s music seems to couple the heavy guitar sounds synonymous with groups like The Buzzcocks and Status Quo with raw, primal drumming that seems like it was learnt from some far-flung Amazonian tribe (a kinda best-kept secret from civilisation unearthed by a bush shaman).
“Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die” verged on being a kid’s rhyme but thanks to its melodic quality and sheer intensity, could’ve been a hot n’ sweaty number from a pumping Zumba session. After this, Boulet gave a plug for The John Steel Singers saying we should buy merch to give them petrol money and that they keep getting better all the time. Indeed, both artists absolutely nail the calypso beat and layered pop tunes. But while JSS come at the listener from multiple angles with their diverse array of instrumentation, Boulet’s is a more traditional format (guitars, drums/percussion, bass and keys) and what they lack in varied ingredients they make up for in what they manage to achieve, building huge walls of sound every bit as furious as a large army of angry men.
The introduction to “North To South East To You” boasted a Radiohead Kid A-era style, before they diverged off into the sunlit territory of The Drums mixed with African rhythms like say, Malibu meets Madagascar. A new song followed and maintained the pace before “Continue Calling”, a cross between The Strokes’ “Juicebox” and John Butler’s roots-reggae style. It’s funny that while JSS were reminiscent of The Who in their choice of stage theatrics during their finale, it seemed that Boulet and co. were putting the infamous Englishmen on a pedestal for their whole set, particularly in the areas of power, volume and sheer ferocity.
“A Community Service Announcement” saw one guy in the audience dancing around like a Muppet, all flopping arms while others were content to nod and bop along to the “big” single. What would have proved a great finale was demoted to second place when they proceeded with the Vampire-Weekend-on-steroids track, “You’re An Animal”.
Boulet’s bassist displayed some spectacular aerodynamics, leaping off an amp while the others were content to provide their large, swirling guitar licks and rhythms and the kind of instrumental tinkering that’d give Tame Impala a run for their money. Afterwards Boulet the sweetie-pie wished us all a good night and there was no encore. No matter though, as these Johnny lads and their ‘Fowl had been a well-behaved lot who put on a damn fine rock show with enough raw passion and energy that the Factory Theatre might’ve soared off on it’s own course along Sydney’s famed flight path. Well, almost. - The AU Review


Self titled debut LP - Jonathan Boulet 2009
Second LP - We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart 2012



Ladies and gentlemen - please welcome back Jonathan Boulet. Following on from his self-titled debut record, We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart is next level Boulet, and we think you might love it like we do.

Jonathan Boulet was an accomplished first step for the Sydney native - recorded, played, sung, produced and mixed by a 21 year old in his parent's garage. On We Keep The Beat... Boulet has again taken the reins, but this time he's opened the doors to the garage and let the world in, and it shows.

We Keep The Beat... is a soaring burst of melody and harmony, built on the blocks of primal, incessant rhythm. It features choruses of chanting choirs, speedball drum lines and junkyards of melodic percussion. It's a dense, cathartic record of unbridled energy and heavy pop.

On another level it's collective music. It's a call to arms for those who are not just listening, but actually hearing it, and it's best listened to in group situations - the more the merrier.

We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart.