Even though Shon Sullivan, the main creative force behind Godenboy, is already well known in the music world, the enigmatic front man has always been a bit reserved, if not downright cryptic about anything having to do with Goldenboy’s music. Whether he fends off inquiries into the long line of his collaborators and touring peers like Elliot Smith, Neil Finn, Johnny Marr, The Eels, Spain, Matt Sharp or Ed Hartcourt (“I don’t know… they’re friends”) or coyly ducks questions about the band’s name or song lyrics, Sullivan usually answers with a mysterious one-liner or his signature shy brand of disheveled charm that perfectly complements his band's spunky lushness.
On the very rare occasion you get a more talkative Sullivan reaching into the treasure chest of his stories and an unexpected glance behind the scenes of some of Goldenboy’s inner workings: "The name started somewhere on a European tour I did with Elliott Smith. I can't remember," Sullivan says, thinking about how he earned the nickname that would become his band's moniker. "Elliott said a little joke thing like, 'Hey Goldenboy.' And I've been Goldenboy ever since."
If Sullivan (lead vocals, guitar and keys) and childhood friend and musical co- conspirator Bryan Bos (Drums and back up Vocals) could explain their music, they probably never would have written it. Lucky for us, Goldenboy travels in a lush melancholy world that we can enter with them.
Together, the two bring a refreshing sense of levity and lightness to an otherwise often serious and self important music world, letting their relaxed rhythms roll with ease in a wide eyed celebration.
Hailing from the micro infamous 'Diamond Bar' of Southern California, one gets the feeling that this retro- poetic, garage pop duo is perfectly at home running through their neighbor’s sprinklers, taking midnight dips in nearby swimming pools or a trip to the local liquor store on their way back to the eerie quiet of their suburban garage to craft their soft and shimmering pop songs, a garage anyone would drive by and never know.
But their hooks can be deceiving with the unexpected blue note and surprising twist of phrasing drifting in and out of the deceptively casual arrangements. Goldenboy’s bittersweet lyrics and joyous melodies open up like a long lost traveling soundtrack.
Drummer and designer Bryan Bos provides the space and expert scope to the open musical landscape and also supplies the stylized realism that runs through the art direction of both Blue Swan Orchestra and Underneath the Radio. In both albums, Bos has uncovered a way beyond the drums to help us better understand the band’s music by adding layers of visual and emotional depth.
This gentle indie pop group from a small town is poised to win your hearts.