Artist: Voice In The Attic
Album: Thought (Single)
Reviewed by Tunedloud
I don’t think Voice In The Attic gets the credit that he deserves. His sensitive and sensible lyrics hit you like Bon Iver’s does, and his guitar playing takes the John Martyn stylized picking to a whole new level. Each of his songs offers up a new adventure. There is usually a time and a place for each type of music, but Voice In The Attic’s music can be played in almost any setting because it appeals to a wide range of emotions and a refined intellect. Time and time again I have also found myself tapping my foot and bobbing my head to a song by Voice In The Attic, which means he can simply appeal to your rhythmical senses too, when you feel like taking off your thinking cap once in a while.
This time around, on his latest single “Thought”, as the title implies, you would be best advised to leave your thinking cap on. This track brings forth an abundance of emotions and thought processes as you listen to it.
You will feel the weight of the lyrics, as they descend heavily upon your conscience, with Voice In The Attic’s despairing, disconsolate and disillusioned queries on modern society – which is hardly the effect that most songs can have in less than 4 minutes.
The underlying energy in this track is contagious, and after the first time listening, you will find yourself obsessing over Voice In The Attic’s beautiful, yet melancholic and original sound.
His voice is able to carry a load of woe, as he conveys his feelings in tones and inflections that penetrate the listener. Voice In The Attic is concerned about the state and meaning of art in the era of global consumerism.
His thoughts also refer to the social singer-songwriter movement of the 1960s and 70s which proved that there can be “poetry in music”—meaning poetry as metaphorical abstraction that helps put things in perspective. “I thought there was more / I thought we were taller / I thought there was poetry in music,” he sings, continuing through the bridge: “And dance in song / And vision in thought / Vision in thought.”
Which brings us back to the central theme, and the question Voice In The Attic is asking: “Do the arts still affect us or have they become some sort of background noise to global consumerism?”
A talented musician and a strong songwriter, Voice In The Attic’s songs individually and/or in a collective sequence, create an atmosphere that is fulfilling and thought-provoking without seeming contrived or pretentious.
It’s easy to understand why he has yet to break big, his eclectic talents just don’t fall inside the defined clichéd boxes the music industry marketing machines like. “Thought” was written by BC Bogey aka Voice In The Attic, recorded in Cologne and Los Angeles, mixed by Craig Durrance and mastered by Bernie Grundman.
Album: Thought (Single)
Review by Brett D. Stewart
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we return our gaze to Voice in the Attic, the artistic moniker of B.C. Bogey, an award-winning songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Last time we checked in on Bogey, he had released ‘After Songdown’ a remarkable record I explored in great depth nearly two years ago. The songwriter is back, however, and he has a new single entitled ‘Thought.’ Does it stand tall against its remarkable predecessor? Let’s delve into it and find out!
‘Thought,’ as Voice in the Attic describes it, is “a little think piece.” Thus, it’s certainly steeped in traditional early 1970s singer songwriter introspection. This can often be treacherous territory for independent artists because they run the risk of entering the realm of cliche, but Voice in the Attic navigates away from that especially well, as he has done in the past. His performance feels intensely personal and passionate, which gives it an aura of authenticity.
The sound has a beautifully contemporary flair to it, aligning sonically with some of Voice in the Attic’s previous work. I’ve previously compared his music to Eddie Vedder’s acoustic ventures, and that parallel is still profoundly apt. ‘Thought’ is orchestrated beautifully with subtle percussion and melodic acoustic guitars, but there’s an edge lent to it by Bogey’s growly voice. In the two years since I dug into Voice in the Attic’s last record, Bogey’s voice still remains one of the most poignant and recognizable in the indie music scene.
Lyrically, the song is quite splendid, albeit embracing brevity. The song wanders in melancholy territory that alludes to Bogey losing a relationship of some sort, perhaps even one that he never expected to lose. “I thought there was more,” he croons. “I thought we were taller. I thought there was poetry in music.” In the vein of his previous work, Bogey remains as lyrically compelling as ever.
‘Thought’ doesn’t attempt to blow down any new doors or astound the listener. It’s a lovely acoustic singer songwriter ballad that aligns thematically with many of its genre counterparts. It is, however, an exceptionally well performed and produced endeavor in that arena, far exceeding the typical “singer songwriter” that comes across my desk on a near-daily basis. Voice in the Attic continues to be one of the most fascinating and consistently excellent indie acts around.
"The real deal"
Artist: Voice In The Attic
Album: Ablaze (Single)
Review by Tunedloud (staff)
VOICE IN THE ATTIC is the finished article; with the evidence of his recently released single “Ablaze” now before us it is patently apparent that he is the whole package, the real deal – a consummate artist. He writes superlatively good songs; plays guitar very well and has a sort-of hungry troubadour aura that has long been lost among contemporary artists. There are similarities in the performance and production of VOICE IN THE ATTIC’s music that reminds one of the soulful, smooth and elegant sounds of Chris Rea, blended with the deeper, darker and more melancholic tones of Nick Drake. However, despite the powerful semblances to these music titans, it is the artistic personality of VOICE IN THE ATTIC which ultimately comes out on top here.
“Ablaze” perfectly epitomizes what VOICE IN THE ATTIC seems to be about: creative energy and authenticity. Even in his most reflective and quietest songs, there is a ‘hidden’ drive threaded throughout his music. It sometimes appears in the musical passages and at others in the lyrical phrases. The songs not only take you on a journey, there is life in the melody. And the music is a journey, where VOICE IN THE ATTIC remains authentic to himself and his own sound. While the lyrics in “Ablaze” may lead in a direction, there is enough openness that you can apply them to your own life and experiences.
VOICE IN THE ATTIC doesn’t seem to be moved by the pull of commercialism, mass media or critics. He remains rooted in his sound and his bond to the landscape, the physical, the organic, the here and now – the authenticity breaths through the melody, lyrics and vocal approach. “Ablaze” embodies that direct sound that reaches into your heart and soul and connects.
This is remarkably sophisticated music, a sound that uses every note and rest to faultless advantage; it is a collaboration of specific accents blended together by the acoustic guitar, the piano, and strings, into an expansion of sound that could be called ‘spiritual exhilaration’.
VOICE IN THE ATTIC reveals his voice to have strength and tenacity, while his words quiver and bend like a drawn bow. He does not attempt to paint whole pictures with his lyrics, but rather develops varying colored themes with them, allowing each listener to complete the images personally. On “Ablaze” his voice is so profoundly intimate and almost glazed that anyone can relate to its emotion.
Artist: Voice In The Attic
Album: After Songdown
Review by Jeena Johnson (Soundlooks)
BC Bogey set a very high standard for himself with his previous works but here he reaches and surpasses those standards by coming at it from an unexpected angle, playing with the seasoned wisdom of experience and the daring and ambition of youth, in the company of musicians that deeply comprehend and extend his idiosyncratic vision. It's obviously a must-buy for his fans, but even for listeners who are only familiar with VOICE IN THE ATTIC's moody contributions, it's worth picking up as an exploration of new emotional and musical territory by one of the most fertile musical minds around.
As soon as I began listening to this album I knew it was VOICE IN THE ATTIC. Well he has a pretty distinctive voice so how would I not know it was him? What I mean is that if you removed his voice and just played everything else, I would still be thinking these are VOICE IN THE ATTIC songs. The chords, structure, and arrangements – they all carry the feel of his other recordings and adding his wonderful voice to it wraps it into one nice package.
BC Bogey's work in general and this recording in particular, is a masterpiece which needs to be heard. The melodies are memorable. The harmonies soar. The rhythms are striking. The lyrics are sobering and personal. They speak to our times. BC has succeeded in the most fundamental component of great art. He has beautifully expressed the universal through the particular. The musicianship is impeccable. Brilliantly produced, the sonic envelope and production are unsurpassed. Drawing on the strengths of both, "After Songdown" has all the warmth and depth of analog, but does not for one moment lack a similar crispness and clarity reminiscent of digital. It is an extremely compelling experience. VOICE IN THE ATTIC is Nick Drake, Chris Rea and Tom Waits all rolled into one. Moody, melancholic and thought-provoking, songs such as "Glass", "Ablaze (JazzMy AzzMix)", "Tear (WatershedMix)", "Over" and "Songdown" are as inventive and beautiful as ever. A special mention must go to "Tribute", which is exactly what the title says, a tribute to the Foo Fighters and Nirvana, reworked and crafted with the glow of insight by BC Bogey. I was drawn into these songs musically and found myself pondering a poet's lyrics about life and looking for meanings.
With all of these elements considered together, I am not sure a more authentic, organic, neo folk-rock recording has been produced in recent times. Embedded with the ethos of the 60's, extracts from all the elements that made the 70's so magical, and without being nostalgic, this body of work succeeds by the very nature of its understated fusion of yesterday and today.
If you were to only buy only one recording this year, this should, hands down, be it. Mixed by Craig Durrance and Mastered by Bernie Grundman, "After Songdown" is the definition of sonic mastery. Most important, it is a musical experience that is compelling, moving, and nutritious. Popular music simply does not get better than this. VOICE IN THE ATTIC is a much needed anomaly in these times. Simply brilliant!
"A Masterful Piece"
Artist: Voice In The Attic
Album: After Songdown
Review by Brett Stewart (The Independent Spotlight)
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we're going to be delving into a rather unique and fascinating artist. His name is BC Bogey, but his stage moniker is Voice in the Attic. He's been an incredibly active independent artists for the better part of the last four years, releasing a whole slew of EPs and singles. 'After Songdown,' however, is officially his sophomore full-length studio endeavor, one that digs into the realm of coherent album creation and long-form creative direction. Let's dig right into it.
There are two things I'd like to mention right off the bat. When Bogey approached me with his record, he prefaced that while it is not a concept record, it is an album that he attempted to create as a whole, rather that segmenting parts off that would be good for radio play or as singles. This is an admirable effort, perhaps one that’s slowly becoming archaic, at least, in the mainstream. I massively respect this approach, and in honesty, prefer an artist that takes the cohesiveness of a full album seriously. Second, he's doing much better than perhaps he even anticipated--the single won an award in the UK and he's on track for an Australian award and inclusion in a feature film.
When digging into 'Songdown,' I listened to the record all the way through thrice without interruption. This allowed me to hone into its quality as a full experience, because again, that's the point of it. Bogey's sound as Voice in the Attic is immediately likable and sharply produced. The opening track, 'Day,' exhibits him as a masterful crooner with a distinct voice. More so, I love the intricacy of the production right out of the gate. The sporadic piano noodling, the tight percussion, and the sly string sections all manifest into a remarkable experience. There's an edge to it, and thus, if I was to classify it, I'd say Bogey is meandering somewhere between the singer-songwriter, folk, and alternative rock genres.
'Glass,' the instrumental included on the aforementioned feature film, is one of the defiant highlights of 'Songdown.' This elegant track truly exhibits Bogey's prowess not just as a songwriter, but as a composer. I'd argue the piece is tinged endlessly with classical influence, and it is a rather contemporary classical piece in an introspective minor key. The song boils down to two main pieces--the piano which leads the dance and the string sections that are in pursuit.
Bogey has been providing the media with WAV files, which was both immensely appreciated and deeply important to these pieces. In laymen terms, WAV files are much, much higher quality than MP3 is, by a huge margin. These uncompressed goliaths clock the album in at over 400 megs. Thus, your listening experience on MP3's may be of slightly less grandier than mine. Mine is, though, grand. As readers of the Spotlight know, I don't just queue up my reviews on Apple earbuds in a coffee shop. No, I go into the studio and listen on industry monitors. Man, Voice in the Attic's music is a treat in that setting. The folksy 'On' is a superb example of that, especially the harmonies toward the end. Breathtaking.
'Reminisce' draws ties to 'Glass' as a piano/string instrumental. Aurally, it's similar, too, though it feels more forceful in its delivery. This is very good, because as you'll notice early on in 'Songdown,' Bogey establishes a sound that he doesn't deviate from too often. He manages to litter that sound with intricacies like 'Reminisce,' however, to keep it consistently compelling. 'Ablaze,' the following song, is one of the better exhibitions of acoustic songwriting. "They say life takes its toll," Bogey croons over an intriguing landscape. Vocally, I'm not sure where I'd align him. If Eddie Vedder and Tom Waits were oddly combined, you may have something akin to Bogey.
The best song off the first half of 'Songdown' is most surely 'Tear.' The sparing female vocals are absolutely haunting, as are the vocals, delivery, and increasingly folksy instrumentation. In particular, Voice in the Attic seems to really understand the balance between a lone, emotional vocalist, and tactful harmonies. 'Tear' may be the best excursion of that on the album, and goodness, it's chillingly well done.
'Iridescent' indicates a tonal change on the album. Though the piece still holds tightly to the acoustic guitar musings of the previous songs, it does tediously enter some sort of realm of alternative, or even acoustic progressive rock. It's a short instrumental, shorter than the others, and acts as a segway between 'Tear' and 'Over.' Let's talk about 'Over.'
'Over' scored some significant recognition across the pond for Bogey's songwriting. It was damn well deserved--'Over' is a remarkable songwriting endeavor, definitely one of the more notable pursuits on the album. I've actually heard the song before--I had to hastily Google the lyrics to prove myself wrong that it wasn't a cover. I have no idea where, but the song is definitely recognizable. Anyway, I digress.
Remember my Tom Waits comparison? Well, Voice in the Attic fully embraces the Wait-isms on 'Rhinoceri.' Seriously, you'll think you're listening to 'Rain Dogs.' It's one of the more experimental songs for sure, but one of the best. I love the spoken word poetry accentuating a very 'Rain Dogs' atmosphere. 'Tribute,' the tune following it, walks carefully beside a potentially copyright infringement, essentially tributing Foo Fighters and Nirvana. It's an effective tune, one that technically falls into the 'parody' domain. (AKA - Legal.)
Well, this is one of the longer pieces on the Spotlight. Let's wrap up the three final pieces. 'Toil' is a surprisingly infectious song, residing in familiar territory, but welcoming territory at that. 'Fall' offers an instrumental composition with a stark contrast to its predecessors, mainly due to its acoustic-guitar driven nature rather than pianos, and finally, 'Songdown' closes out the album with one of the more fulfilling acoustic songwriting endeavors of this year in the indie scene.
This is truly a terrific record. From beginning to end, Voice in the Attic proves itself a versatile act with a variety of absolutely breathtaking sounds. In particular, 'Glass,' 'Tear,' and 'Rhinoceri' are the highlight reel. That's a highlight reel of a masterful piece, even one of the very best in the scene this year... so don't just listen to those three. Go into it all. It's worth every second.
"An Absolute Triumph"
Artist: Voice In The Attic
Album: After Songdown
Review by Beach Sloth (SKOPE Magazine)
Voice In The Attic's "After Songdown" sits with the best of the 60s and 70s folk greats. From the careful arrangements that emphasize every possible nuance of the sound, the songs prove exactly what can be accomplished with the acoustic. By letting his compositions positively burst with energy, Voice In The Attic shows off the level of thought that went into bringing these pieces together. Carefully chosen strings, drums, guitar, and the vintage piano play off of each other. Deep resonant vocals tie these pieces together. Lyrically the songs are mere vignettes giving glimpses of a greater whole. Precise percussion opens the album up with the steady "Day." The arrangement has true depth courtesy of the meticulous strings. As the piece progresses it grows increasingly louder and more insistent, letting the repetition create a sense of true emotional heft. Various interludes are interspersed within the album such as the mournful "Glass" and the ghostly "Reminisce." Serving as the heart and soul of the album is the tender work of "Ablaze" which neatly embodies all that is good in this sonic universe: from the slow delicate introduction to its gradual build towards something blooming and beautiful. Possessing a sense of hope is the colorful work of "Iridescent." Almost cinematic in tone is the anxious work of "Rhinoceri" with insistent flourishes of percussion softened by the quiet tones of the piano and guitar. Ending the album off on a kind note is the stripped down "Songdown." At times reminiscent of Nick Drake's tenderness, "After Songdown" is an absolute triumph.
"The Work of A GEnuine Artist"
Album: After Songdown
Review by Alex Faulkner (The Faulkner Review)
Voice In The Attic is essentially the artistic vision of singer/songwriter BC Bogey, who hails from Cologne in Germany. His musical path has been unusual, starting out in metal bands before entering a musical conservatory at 23, where he seemed destined for a career as an opera singer. He left to pursue his musical ambitions elsewhere, forming a progressive rock project called TIDE, who became critically acclaimed.
Since then he has developed his own unique style as a solo artist, releasing the album Earily Familiar in 2010 and a few singles and EPs since. This second album, After Songdown, he describes as his 'unplugged album' and though it could be described as acoustic, that would be over simplifying his rather original sound. With a deep, expressive voice somewhere between Chris Rea and Tom Waits, he combines elements of folk, jazz, classical and rock into a refreshing hybrid.
Consisting of thirteen tracks, it contains both songs and instrumentals. Opening song Day introduces his organic, intimate approach which features picked acoustic guitar, dreamy female backing vocals and haunting strings interweaved throughout. Essentially, it's a song of longing: "I've been waiting for the day to break since you went away...".
Glass is a poignant two minute instrumental consisting of piano and strings, while On starts out simply, then builds into an intriguing song that stands on the verge of several genres. It explodes in a miasma of vocal harmonies towards the end, lyrically about the urge to "go where the wild things are...". Reminisce is another fine instrumental track, similar to Glass and rather moving.
Ablaze starts out as acoustic folk before a funky, jazzy beat turns it into something else entirely, built around the potent hook "We're ablaze with desire...". The female vocals complement his in a perfect yin/yang kind of way, both sensual and romantic. Tear is a lovely, tender song with beautiful, poetic lyrics: "You are a tear...a drop of ink in the sky...". The female harmonies are breathtaking on this one.
Over, the first single from the album, is another highlight. It appears to be about dying, but is in no way maudlin: "I cross the borders into the light, that's where I'm going, that's when I die...weightless, I'm soaring, this our goodbye...". A very deep and meaningful song, this one alone deserves to be heard by a wide audience.
Rhinoceri is an experimental track, a Tom Waits-esque spoken monologue over quirky percussion, while Tribute pays intriguing homage to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and Foo Fighters Everlong in the lyrics, but sounds nothing like either. Toll is another fine song, with xylophone added to the instrumental blend.
Fall is the last instrumental featuring some gorgeous guitar work and leads to the closing title track Songdown. It's a perfect way to finish, an ode to his passion for life and music itself, the chorus running: "I don't know what I'm living for, but that's OK...at the end of the day, songdown leaves me wanting....".
Overall, this is a highly accomplished and eclectic album both musically and lyrically. It's the work of a genuine artist that will reveal its depths upon repeated listening, such is the level of detail and sophistication. A highly recommended listen.
Atmospheric, Dreamy and Moving
Album: Over (Single)
Review by Beach Sloth
The song begins with elegant deliberate guitar work. From this quiet beginning comes the vocals whose breathy texture at times feels reminiscent of Tim Buckley's "Anonymous Proposition" with the same level of romanticism. Gradually the flourishes of piano and strings float into the mix. Change is quite subtle throughout the piece as the vocals serve as the focal point. Everything else orbits around the vocals which have a sense of acceptance of fate. With each additional passage the piece grows in terms of color and texture. By far one of the nicest elements has to be the strong cello work which helps give it an almost quiet, jazzy feel.
Reflection dominates the piece. Voice In The Attic chooses a quieter more patient path on "Over" showing off his impressive skill in creating an atmospheric, dreamy, and ultimately moving skill.
"Like butter on a muffin"
Album: Over (Single)
Review by Rick Jamm
With his smoky baritone voice and cool, mellow delivery, BC Bogey puts together a dark atmospheric and thought-provoking track with "Over", which discusses what the values of life…and afterlife may mean to us. It is a simple yet stunning commentary on society. BC's imagery and use of symbolism to convey his thoughts is nothing short of genius here. But ultimately it's his voice that commands, mesmerizes and captivates your senses.
It is really hard to resist the vocals which are deep, effortless and very close to your ear within the mix. Many artists have messages to convey and social commentary to give, but BC Bogey also has a sensitive musical talent and a better delivery than most.
Voice In The Attic's musical art inhabits a land where authenticity is the cardinal virtue and ostentation its opposing evil. Within that land, BC's expressive preternatural voice and his persuasive lyrics eloquently narrate life with a larger hope and a bigger view of metaphysical events linked to death.
On "Over" BC displays the innate ability to write and compose an all-enveloping song from a single thought or theme. His voice and the simple acoustic-driven music seem to melt together like butter on a muffin. "Over" will no doubt hit you square in the heart!