Bonniesongs is the musical project of Bonnie Stewart, a songwriter born and raised in Ireland between the town of Wicklow and the capital of Dublin. Some seven years ago, wanting to see the world at large Bonnie, upped sticks and moved about as far as you can, to Australia’s most populous city, Sydney. That division of her life, rooted in Ireland and living life in Australia, is a key theme on Bonnie’s recent album, Energetic Mind. It is a record of longing and discovery, of adjusting to the here and now and glancing back with nostalgia to the place she left behind. Bonniesongs has just finished a tour on the back of Energetic Mind, and today we’re sharing a wonderful live version of one of the album’s stand out moments, Coo Coo.
Discussing the track recently, Bonnie suggested it was, as you could perhaps guess from the name, inspired by the enigmatic Cuckoo bird, in particular the distinctly Swiss-version known for hanging out in clocks. As she explains, “I was visualising a cuckoo bird coming out of a cuckoo clock and just having a good time. The theme is a bit open to interpretation but maybe it suggest feelings of freedom, escapism, liberation, and identity”.
That playful and liberated feeling of the album version, is mirrored in this stunning live recording. The session showcasing Bonnie’s ability to create so much sound using only her voice, a guitar and a loop pedal. It’s a recording that seems to tap back into the song’s fertile first steps, you can almost hear how the song was written, adding layer upon layer of vocal melody and guitar lines, both rhythmic and melodic, to create a dense and beautiful tapestry of sound.
Energetic Mind is an album that lives up to its name, always creative and challenging, stitching an array of influences from jazz, to dreamy-folk to grunge; Bonnie cites Dave Grohl and composer Andrea Keller as equal influences. It is a world of musical possibilities, in which Bonniesongs has created one of the year’s most forward thinking and exciting records and this live rendition of Coo Coo is like a snapshot of the skeletal sketches that created it, intriguing and enticing in equal measure.
Energetic Mind is out now via Small Pond Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Bonniesongs.
Love video recorded by Josh Young.