Be Prepared for Nobody’s Boyscout

nobodysboyscoutNobody’s Boyscout is a true case of musical serendipity. They are proof-positive that the incestuous Providence music scene provides consistent opportunities for musicians to experiment and collaborate with like-minded (as well as not-so-like-minded) artists.

Singer/guitarist Sean Murphy raucously screamed the origins of the band at me; “I play in another band called No Plateau. Matt plays in a band called Dandelion Pipebomb. Supe ran sound at a venue called The Spot for years. Adam plays in a band called High Horse…Adam, Natalie, Supe and I all worked at Guitar Center in Warwick at one point.”

Okay, “raucously screamed” doesn’t really describe the way that Sean Murphy normally expresses himself. Nobody’s Boyscout is made up of the aforementioned Sean, Nic “Supe” Hallenbeck on bass, Adam Carroll on lead guitar, Natalie Perry on piano and Matt “Purple Monkey” Brown as a vocalist, drummer and percussionist. I say we all start hash-tagging #purpmonk with any mentions of Nobody’s Boyscout on social media.

Nobody’s Boyscout is throwing a CD release party at The Parlour in Providence on January 20 for their debut LP, In Tongues. I spoke with Sean, who I’ve known for about a decade, about the release.

Sean reminds of a young wizard. When I wanted to put a solid investment into a new guitar amp and distortion pedal for my punk band, I sat down with Sean Murphy for hours as he showed me amp after amp and we experimented with pedal upon pedal. When I work as a film editor, Sean is the first person I go to with technical questions. Long story short — when I need help with the technical side of art, Sean is my go-to guy.

Sean is always dependable for a thoughtful discussion about creation, and the subject of Nobody’s Boyscout is no exception. “We’re obsessed with trying to craft songs that are appealing to both the public and to the technical musicians inside us. We wanted to create smart songs that didn’t feel like you need a degree to understand what’s happening musically, but when analyzed, have a lot of interesting things going on. We’ve really embraced listening to each other’s styles and trying to leave space for each us to be heard.”

Nobody’s Boyscout’s CD release is a double CD release show with acoustic vocal trio How’s About Charlie. Their debut album, Waves, will also be available that night. The River Provides and The Guest House will open the show with more acts to be announced. But the connection between the two headliners goes further than this event. “We somehow convinced How’s About Charlie to sing on most of the songs on the album,” Sean calmly stated. “We worked with a fantastic mastering engineer named Jonathan Wyner. We worked with an amazing artist named Ningjing Sun [for the album art]. We spent a whole year recording the album with George Dussault. We had a huge support group of people at Madcap every Monday that helped us figure out how to get the songs where they needed to be.”

I listened to In Tongues. It feels full of melancholy hope.

I think the best way to describe it is that the album feels like the feeling you get when you’re 60% of the way through a really good indie movie where you see the protagonists falling in love, but you don’t know if they’re going to end up together. They’re driving through the desert and exchanging knowing glances with each other as the sun comes up, but the journey ahead is unknown. But right now, the joy is simmering and the comfort is palpable. They’ve both lived enough life to know not to trust when things are going so well, but they want to believe that things can go right this time. As you watch them, you hope they decide to believe that things can go right this time.

That’s how the album felt to me.

Now that you’ve experienced the weirdest album description you’ve ever read, go pick up In Tongues January 20 at The Parlour to see if you feel the same, and check out the true collaborative artistry of Nobody’s Boyscout.


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