I had never heard of the New York based band, Bueno, prior to seeing them live in Brooklyn at Market Hotel. Their live performance was absolutely captivating. I made a mental note, after their set, to look them up at a later point. I guess you could say that's how the love affair between myself and Bueno’s music began.
From there, I became addicted to the dark quality of Bueno's previous album Guilt. I have been eagerly counting down the days to Illuminate Your Room’s release, while greedily listening to the singles Bueno has been teasing listeners with all summer.
Bueno's aura is that of an entirely different era—the melodies are groovy, dark, upbeat, and jazzy with prominent post-punk elements. Luke Chiaruttini’s sonorous voice is nothing short of enchanting with his slacker, jazzy tone. In fear of adulating Bueno too excessively, I'll move on to the specifics of Illuminate Your Room.
This album has several parallels to the sound of Bueno's previous album, Guilt, however, it is far more upbeat in comparison to the darker, slower, more ominous tendencies that Guilt leans toward. I am a huge fan of their previous album for those qualities, but I’ve listened to Illuminate Your Room several times now and I fall in love with it more with every listen. Dare I say my relationship with this album is getting pretty serious— I might be taking this one home to meet the family.
Picking only a few songs to highlight is a challenge, but I will start with one of my favorites for a change. "Hizznherz" is easily my favorite song off of the album. This track oozes funk vibes. The lyrics are another impressive facet to this song, which touch on defying traditional societal gender expectations. Overall, it's an incredibly catchy song and I often find myself humming "I can't fucking stand it you know living like this", whilerestraining my less-than-impressive dance moves in the process.
"Blown Out" is another favorite from the album. The lyrics, once again, stand out against the mellow melody. "Everything is broken in its wake/ everything is broken maybe that's ok/ everything is broken maybe that's ok" reveals this acceptance of the imperfection of life. The song also highlights the mundane moments that are subconsciously overlooked throughout the day, such as the reference to gas stations and piles of trash on the sidewalk.
The album closes on a slower jazzy song complementing the opening track "Rosebank 5:00am", which is a lovely instrumental piano piece. A crooning saxophone accompanies "Illuminate Your Room (Rosebank 4:59am)" enhancing the somber atmosphere of the melody. It feels as though I'm hovering in the daunting thoughts of a sleepless night, while listening to this song. Both this track and the album ends on the beautifully sorrowful lyrics: "we could be/ lonely together/ we could waste time forever".
Illuminate Your Room portrays a breadth of both eclectic and nostalgic elements showcasing Bueno's unique range of sound. To put it simply, it was worth the wait and it is well worth a listen.