With the arrival of their 2019 self-titled debut, BONES UK breathed new life and urgency into the rock-and-roll genre, delivering an explosive sound made even more magnetic by their wildly incisive lyrics. Along with earning the London-bred band a Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Rock Performance (for their chart-climbing hit single “Pretty Waste”), BONES UK led to such triumphs as touring with alt-rock legends Smashing Pumpkins and amassing a passionate following irresistibly drawn to their firebrand idealism and emphatically feminist spirit.
To follow up their debut, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Rosie Bones and lead guitarist Carmen Vandenberg have dreamed up some of their most introspective and emotionally complex material yet, all while doubling down on the unapologetic truth-telling that’s always defined their output.
Made with producers like Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age and their longtime collaborator Filippo Cimatti, BONES UK’s next releases mark a departure from the industrial-edged rock of their debut (a widely acclaimed release that landed on Loudwire’s list of the 50 best rock albums of 2019, with The Line of Best Fit noting the band’s potential to “set the world alight in a big way”).
A dazzling first glimpse into next era of BONES UK, “Cheap Love” drifts between defiance and dreamy reflection in its poetic meditation on getting by in chaotic times (from the chorus: “And you give what you got but it’s darker than you thought now/And the birds don’t sing anything that’s sweet now/And it’s dark outside, but don’t be dark in you”). “It’s about trying to find your own version of light in all the darkness, whatever that means to you,” Rosie notes.
On “Milk,” Rosie slips into a hip-hop-inspired vocal flow as BONES UK offer up one of their most euphoric tracks to date, an anthemic celebration of living without self-denial (“Slide like a zombie in the wild/I’m an old soul and I’m a fucking child/All salt and no margarita/No hope that I’m ever getting sweeter”). “Over the past few years I made the decision to do everything I can to feel as free as possible, and ‘Milk’ encapsulates that freedom,” says Rosie. “It’s about the aftermath of hard times, the flower growing out of the dirt, the feeling of joy in the face of uncertainty and pain.”
BONES UK’s sound radiates the kind of raw abandon that could only come from artists viscerally compelled to create rock-and-roll. “For me, music has always been grounding, because as soon as I start playing, I feel more like myself,” says Carmen, who grew up in Italy and took up guitar at the age of six. “And if I go too long without it,” she adds, “then I feel like I’m sort of floating outside my own body.”
In 2014, after playing a gig at a blues bar in Camden, Carmen first crossed paths with Rosie—a London native who started out as a drummer and later switched to guitar as a conduit for her songwriting. Soon after relocating to Los Angeles in 2017, BONES UK set to work on their debut album while making their name as an exhilarating live act, eventually taking the stage at major festivals like Lollapalooza and touring with iconic bands like The Cult, Eagles of Death Metal, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush.
“We’ve had a lot of people come up to us at shows and tell us they feel empowered or affirmed by what we talk about onstage and in our songs,” says Rosie. “It’s always important to us to use our platform to talk about the things we care about, but we also don’t let that constrain us—we’ve always got to write from the heart.”
NORTH AMERICA | JUSTIN HIRSCHMAN & PHILIP BARRETT @ AGI
EU/UK | JOSH JAVOR @ X-RAY TOURING
NORTH AMERICA | CRYSTAL HENDERSON @ THE PRESS HOUSE
UK | ADAM SAGIR @ NOISY CARTEL