Since the group’s founding in 2010, Brooklyn-based Bootblacks have been enthralling audiences with their frenetic live shows from the U.S. to Europe. Their sound is described as a balance of contradictions: both pensive and buoyant, referential and modern. Fitting, as the Bootblacks name is derived from novelist William Burroughs’ description of the dark underbelly of glitzy New York City.
Vocalist and frontman Panther Macdonald lists an eclectic set of influences: Depeche Mode, New Order, Simple Minds, Echo & the Bunnymen, early U2 as well as the Beatles & Bowie for lyrical inspiration.
Bootblacks released their first EP “Narrowed”, in the fall of 2012, after previously collaborating with Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds). Macdonald, and guitarist Alli Gorman, recount the collaboration with Sclavunos as a “life-changing” one that informs Bootblack’s music to this day.
“Veins” was released in 2016 and was described as a step in the band’s evolution from punk to post-punk. With their influences always expanding, the band is never complacent in what makes up their sound. They toured extensively behind the effort and started building momentum.
With the addition of Barrett Hiatt (The Harrow) in early 2017, the band began work on “Fragments”, which was released via French label Manic Depression Records in September of 2017. The effort found the band further diving into a more synth-heavy, atmospheric, and “bigger sounding” Bootblacks than before. The album found itself on many year-end “best-of” lists and has catapulted the band into a must-see for 2018.