Elise and Jason are Bourgeois Heroes. The band began in the spring of 2002 on a roadtrip to Memphis. Once they arrived in Tennessee, they purchased a drum kit and an electric guitar and out to record their frst ramshackle single the following evening at Sun Studio.
Since, the duo has released several handmade EPs that celebrate Friends-era Beach Boys production, an often Rhythm & Blues leaning and various “weird” sounds.
Bourgeois Heroes is currently in a long distance relationship, communicating musical ideas between Austin, Tex., and Northampton, Mass. Their latest effort, the Musical Postcards EP, is a document of this arrangement. Demos and versions of songs at various stages were mailed by the post and feedback was often returned over the telephone or on the back of a postcard.
The recording began at Jason’s home on a four-track tape cassette machine. Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Hush Arbors, Sonic Youth) engineered much of the rest of the work at Bank For Recording. Henning Ohlenbusch provided the baroque string arrangements at Rub Wrongways Studio. After these elements came together, everything was mixed down to a 2-track stereo tape, creating a homemade feel that contains both hi-f and lo-f sounds.
RIYL: Wings, Harry Nilsson, Lee Hazlewood, The Monkees, Serge Gainsbourg, Robyn Hitchcock, The Ladybug Transistor, Apples in Stereo, Van Dyke Parks
April 30, 2010: Review on Brill Dream:
Right, lets not mess around, Bourgeois Heroes are brilliant … ‘Musical Postcards’ is a bloody waltz. A lovely, string embedded baroque number with china fragile vocals and a pretty, ’60s-ish chorus. Really interesting, ambitious stuff.
May 11, 2010: Feature on Fensepost:
The deep, mystical vocals of Bourgeois Heroes would ft in very well next to a band like The Church or Echo & The Bunnymen or another similar melodramatic 80s group. While the Heroes hint occasionally at that sound on their release Musical Postcards, it also possesses the instrumentation of modern pop bands like Belle & Sebastian. And you can hear select other influences, as wide-ranging as The Pastels and The Zombies.
EDIT: May 20, 2010: Review in the Valley Advocate (Northampton):
The Valley’s mod tendencies may have started with The Aloha Steamtrain, but at this point it’s hard to top Jason Bourgeois as “mod supreme” among the many Valley musicians who aspire to the jangly, ’60s pop aesthetic best exemplified by The Beatles or The Kinks (though also including The Monkees, The Beach Boys, The Hollies, The Zombies and so on). His voice is uncannily suited to the task. He sounds like a working class English teenager—sometimes like George Harrison, sometimes like Syd Barrett …
EDIT: May 26, 2010: Review on Powerpopaholic:
The orchestral pop and wide ranging influences are a treat for the pop fan looking for clever melodies with whimsical character. The easy going strum of “The Boy At The Record Store” could be a theme of my childhood (sigh). The elaborate baroque “I Wanna Be Nice To You” is a period gem that fans of sunshine pop and The Kinks will be thrilled with. Overall an excellent EP that will brighten your day, so when is that full length comin’?
EDIT: June 28, 2010: Review on CT Indie blog:
It’s a collection of songs that have been worked on through the mail, through demos and postcards sent back and forth. It’s a very interesting concept, and the results are a bunch of shimmering 60s pop gems that make you feel good about your day. The album was recorded by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Hush Arbors, Sonic Youth) at Bank Row Recording, which is probably why the sound quality is so great. Anyway, these are beautifully written tunes that wear The Kinks, Beach Boys and Beatles influences on their sleeve; which is a very welcome thing in my book.
EDIT: July 1, 2010: Review on Side Ponytail:
Musical Postcards, the new EP from Bourgeois Heroes, has a loping, melodic pop sound that reminds me of a combination of certain Belle and Sebastian singles, The Monkees, The Beach Boys (for me, the Beach Boys influence is especially strong on the last track, “Holly”), and Harry Nilsson’s songs for The Point (see this video for “Think About Your Troubles” or this one for “Me and My Arrow.”) … Elise and Jason’s collaboration is seamless & the vast geographical distance that shaped Musical Postcards leads to a gorgeous, intimate closeness. Listening to Musical Postcards feels like being very near to someone.
EDIT: July 18, 2010: Short review on Beehive Candy:
Love a band that can sound retro sixties whilst clearly having their own original monicker, this is really charming music that will lift you up for the day.
EDIT: July 23, 2010: Bourgeois Heroes interviewed by Brill Dream.