The self-titled debut of a band that amplifies the intimate lyrics of singer/songwriter Micah Visser, Boniface collects personal thoughts and experiences from Visser's teens and early twenties as he approaches his mid-twenties. Those experiences included falling in love and subsequent heartbreak as well as struggles with identity. Visser's music became associated with an insular, home-recorded quality early on, and while Boniface was captured mostly at home, parts of it were recorded in a studio with producer/mixer Neil Comber, who has worked with the likes of Charli XCX and M.I.A. The resulting album enhances their already lush emo synth-pop, though Boniface eases listeners in with the piano-based "Waking Up in Suburbia." The lyric-driven track adds violin and spare synth bass before half-whispering "But I know you like the back of my hand/It's not like I'm trying to kiss you/But it's not like we never have." The entire album plays like a collection of private, heartfelt messages, though swirling synthesizers and driving drums settle in on second song "I Will Not Return as a Tourist" and remain for the bulk of the 12-track set. Boniface closes with the theatrical, cathartic "Making Peace with Suburbia," which bookends the album with more piano and strings. In between, Visser passes through the driving dance-rock of the New Order-evoking "Dear Megan," the wistful "Your List" with its Chris Martin-esque melody, and anthemic dance piece "Oh My God," an advance single that compares a love interest to other overlooked treasures. Throughout, Visser's earnest, quivery vocal delivery adds authenticity to emotionally raw, guileless lyrics, making Boniface an affecting debut with just enough hooks to compel repeat listens by pop fans.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson