Friday, March 22, 2024

“In My Kingdom” by The Bogmen – A Song Feature

     "In My Kingdom" offers a rare fusion of sophistication and unfettered entertainment. It possesses the ability to grab the attention of listeners, urging them to prioritize checking out The Bogmen's tour schedule immediately; the song encapsulates everything that makes a favorite among gig-goers. It's intelligent yet uncomplicated, and is substantial yet exuberant and full of life. It's akin to a 1960s muscle car that can kick into another gear (or two) even after seemingly reaching its peak performance. Those extra gears are engaged after the three-minute mark of “In My Kingdom.”
     The Bogmen begin the song with a recipe for Utopia. Initially, the thought might be that it’s similar to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” But “In My Kingdom” doesn’t imagine that there’s no religion. To the contrary, the intro lists personalities from various faiths whose advice would be valued, although not necessarily for their views on theology. Moreover, there is a King; however, “In my kingdom, everyone would be King for a day.” Still, this potential Utopia has no law, since there isn’t a need.
     The band was originally formed in 1990 by lead singer Billy Campion and bothers Billy and Brendan Ryan. By 1992, bassist Mark Wike, percussionist P.J. O’Connor, and drummer Clive Tucker were added. The Bogmen disbanded in 1998. But they are now working toward an album release in May. “In My Kingdom” is the title track. The album can be pre-ordered at via Bandcamp The Bandcamp site explains:
   This is the first ever vinyl release by The Bogmen! Written in the heart of the pandemic as a way of coping with the loss of a good friend as well as being inspired by the unusual circumstances of the world being shut down - In My Kingdom, has everything fans of The Bogmen love about them, it is melody driven, poetic and seamlessly goes from sounding old-timey and rootsy to orchestrated and electronic, Americana with an ethnic flare, lyrical themes of grief, love, rebirth and transcendence through imagination, populated by old friends, animals and colorful mythological characters yet intensely personal so people can relate to it.”
     Bandcamp also lists credits. Clive Tucker and Mark Wike contribute to songs on the album, but the primary contributors are:
  Billy Campion: lead vocals, guitar, baritone ukulele
  Brendan Ryan: keyboards, accordion, trumpet
  Billy Ryan: guitars, mandolin, banjo, backing vocals
  P.J. O’Connor: percussion, backing vocals
  Paul Frazier: bass, backing vocals
  Mathias Bossi: drums, omnichord, marxophone     
     The official video for the title track is almost as entertaining as the song itself. Interesting information about the video includes:
   “The animated music video ‘In My Kingdom’ was created by Jack Powell (Opus Thimble, Hot Mustard). Musically, the song is classically Bogmen-ian, but could be considered a bold proclamation in today’s fractured times - a message of inclusion that reminds us of our universal desire for openness and kindness, one that illuminates a path forward. A path to the sacred, precious and always hard-earned love, compassion and understanding that has characterized The Bogmen’s music for more than 30 years.”
   “Jack Powell created a hypnagogic video by extracting album artist Gregory Stovetop’s artwork and turning it into animation. Campion and I discussed various religious iconographic images, natural and spiritual concepts with Gregory, as well as, like the Star Wars Bar, were all a little freaky and different. He nailed it with the album art and Jack took his work, ran with it to create this amazing phantasmic video.”- Billy Ryan

1 comment:

  1. When we got to listen to the new Guster album in full, one of our friends said "It's a vibe."

    This, also, is a vibe.
    Love the build from the spoken word, to the singing by ole Billy there, and the layered lush sounds building to the harmonies and the round.

    It's. A. Vibe.
    For sure.