BNQT - 'Volume 1'

8/10

Having been dubbed a "supergroup" since their creation, understanding the dynamic of BNQT isn't quite that simple. It would be easier to say that they are a compilation project, all under the same name. The band was founded by Midlake's Eric Pulido with the idea of asking fellow musicians to contribute songs or musical accompaniment to the project. Featuring Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Travis’ Fran Healy, and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, amongst others, BNQT's first studio album is as diverse as it is blissful.

As you would expect, the idea of having all these rival songwriters contributing to the same record would create a clash of egos. But the reality is that only a couple of tracks actually feature more than two of these musicians, with most of them written independently. This not only helps the record explore new avenues after every couple of tracks, but also shows exactly how well these artists can collaborate together. The result is a blissful indie dream, that maintains a solid pace and flow throughout.

You would think that the old saying "too many cooks spoil the broth" would apply here, but Pulido's project of distant collaboration works on nearly all levels. Maybe it is the consistency of production, or simply that all the contributors work on the same wavelength. Either way, 'Volume 1' is an extremely promising start to this new venture.

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