Photo: Grace Pendleton

Why Bonnie display their nostalgic and contemplative prowess on “Sailor Mouth” and “Hot Car”

Texan quintet Why Bonnie are releasing their debut album 90 in November later this summer, and they’ve previously treated us to the singles “Galveston” and “90 in November”. They’ve now doubled the pre-album singles released with two new ones called “Sailor Mouth” and “Hot Car”.

On “Sailor Mouth” they say: “[It’s] about growing around your memories. Your foundation never changes but your relationship to it is always evolving.”

Set to be the album opener, “Sailor Mouth” comes buffeting in on a blustering guitar, like a memory of faraway childhood wafting strongly into your consciousness all of a sudden, ever so vividly. Why Bonnie pull back the clouds of distorted guitar to allow singer Blair Howerton to unpack some ungraspable life lessons, deep but indefinable thoughts about the past and future. It’s not so much a song of learning or progression, but taking stock of the moment and accepting that – whether important or trivial, heavy or lighthearted – your memories will always be with you.

On “Hot Car”, the band says: “We wanted to include a contrast to the sunny disposition of the album. ‘Hot Car’ is meant for those quiet, contemplative, solo night drives.”

While it doesn’t change Why Bonnie’s sound much, “Hot Car” does have a more wounded, internal tone. This suits the band just as much, and they create a balmy, self-quizzical atmosphere where their anguish arises but is cooled by mazy synth melodies and scratchy guitar. Its progression is hypnotic, inviting you to switch off for a bit and dive into soothing, nondescript imaginary visions.

Listen to both “Sailor Mouth” and “Hot Car” below, or find them on streaming platforms.

Why Bonnie’s debut album 90 in November comes out on August 19 through Keeled Scales (pre-order/save). Follow Why Bonnie on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook.