BONZE – ‘Give In’
(Released May 27th 2022)
Bonze may be a new name, but he’s got incredibly deep roots in music. Previously working as an A&R, a guest songwriter, and a top line artist, his experiences stretch back more than a decade. After all this time in the shadows, however, he’s ready to invite people into his world, a landscape marked by precocious alt-pop that pivots between underground dance music and revelatory songwriting while touching upon explicitly personal experiences.
Real name Jack Reardon, Bonze spent his teens in Weybridge, Surrey. A quiet adolescent, everyday he’d catch the bus and sit listening to New Order through his headphones, a gateway into a pop arena where feeling and introspection were welcomed. As for Bonze itself – well, that’s a childhood nickname, given to him by his beloved grandmother. “She’s my favourite person ever!” he gushes. “But there’s a double meaning, too, because a ‘bonze’ is a spiritual leader in Japan.”
Second single ‘Give In’ is the second blast from his debut album, and it’s a startling introduction from this London based voice. Already picked up for support by BBC Introducing, Bonze creates exploratory pop that recalls everyone from Jai Paul and Metronomy through to The 1975, and isn’t afraid to contextualise complex ideas in a simple, direct setting. As he puts it: “I want to explore the idea of music as an immersive experience”.
A bold second offering, ‘Give In’ is emblematic of the confidence running through this daring young artist. After taking time to learn his craft, Bonze is now ready to strike hard. “I had been helping out in studios for quite some time, and I just thought: why not?” he laughs. “It was all about confidence, really. I knew I could do things for other people, it was about learning to do those things for myself. Once I gave it a go, it started to flow, and I’ve been addicted ever since.”
Blending aspects of club culture – think The Chemical Brothers or Daniel Avery – with succinct songwriting, Bonze hit upon his own unique style. “I’ve always been quite a chaotic producer,” he smiles. “I’ve always drawn from techno, and club elements, but I’ve got my own style, and my own flavour. I love combining organic sounds with electronic production.”
Much of that flavour is imbued into the aforementioned ‘Give In’ – the follow-up single to debut track ‘’Self’, yet the complete antithesis to that track’s narrative, it’s three minutes exactly of pulsating bass and a heady vocal delivery that encapsulates perfectly the song’s overarching .ideas of selfishness.
Described by Reardon as being “the total opposite in premise of the previous single, which was about doing good by, and relying on; yourself. ‘Give In’ is about anything you want it to be, but mainly about giving in to that bad thing that you know is bad for you; but it feels good in the moment so you do it anyway. The Give In mindset is essentially at the core of any addiction.” A narrative fitting for a track in which claustrophobia and uncertainty seem to bubble beneath its surface