With soulful vocals, engaging lyricism and moving melodies, Billy Boguard can captivate your senses from the outset. Described as “mellow pop”, the London-based French singer-songwriter aims at telling true tales in his tunes. Supporting French acts Vianny and Amir, Boguard has earned a following in Europe; however, coverage from international press is taking his sound to a global audience. Following the critically acclaimed ‘Evergreen Scars’, Boguard adds the single ‘California’ to his repertoire.
Moving from the haunting and ethereal ‘Evergreen Scars’, ‘California’ is a more substantive song filled with heartbreaking vocals and powerful melodies. Well-arranged and layered, the track merges the soulfulness of pop ballads with an interspersed hip-hop backing. Moreover, the combination of organic and synthetic instrumentation shows Boguard’s innovativeness as an artist.
Looking at the surface, ‘California’ seems to explore the inner-turmoil and conflict felt in bad relationships; however, the heartbroken lyrics hide a deeper, more serious concept. Using a personal narrative, Boguard uses a broken love affair as a metaphor for his relationship with money. Issues of self-identity, societal pressure and anxiety are examined, but Boguard’s dynamic vocals add a sense of optimistic hopefulness.
“‘California’ is a song about my relationship with money, metaphorically presented as a love affair. Under society’s pressure, we sometimes want to escape, to toss the dive and create a brighter future for ourselves. Abandonment, new departure and epiphany are key words in describing the song’s meaning.” – Billy Boguard on ‘California’
What I find intriguing in ‘California’ is the use of vocals and instrumentation to make you feel the rawness of the concept. Technically a piano-driven single, the incorporation of hip-hop beats make the chorus catchy but also enhance the need for escapism. Boguard’s vocals are easy to listen to but have a gruff throatiness in the chorus making it painful, soul-stirring and evocative.