Goldenboy   Acoustic/Pop

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Described as 'Astonishingly beautiful... a work of art.' by Buzz Magazine. Goldenboy - making golden sounds, keeping Californian dreams alive.

Releases | Blue Swan Orchestra | Sing A Song For The Winterlong

Uncut Magazine, March, 2007

Lush acoustic pop from Elliot Smith compadres 'Goldenboy' is the nickname Elliot Smith gave to Shon Sullivan, a young guitarist from Diamond Bar, California who toured with Smith until the songwriter's self-inflicted death in 2003. When Sullivan was hunting for a name for his own band, it stuck - and judging by this UK

reissue of their 2002 debut, it's well deserved: 10 tracks of breathy melancholy acoustic pop redolent as a less junk-cluttered Grandaddy or, on "Summertime", Belle And Sebastian at their most endearing. Smith himself sings backing vocals on the Beatles-esque "Summertime".

4/5 Louis Pattison,

Guardian Unlimited, February 1, 2007

Hometown: Diamond Bar, California.
The lineup: Shon Sullivan (guitar, lead vocals) and Bryan Bos (keyboards, drums).

The background: Goldenboy... not to be confused with that Norwegian band, nor Jerry Seinfeld's fav T-shirt.

Hometown: Diamond Bar, California.
The lineup: Shon Sullivan (guitar, lead vocals) and Bryan Bos (keyboards, drums).

The background: Goldenboy - not to be confused with Goldenboy, a Norwegian punkcore band, or Goldenboy the Zurich-based synth-kid, or indeed Jerry's favourite T-shirt in Seinfeld - are soft-rockers who were mates with Elliot Smith before he checked out in such a violent fashion.

In fact, Smith gave them their name. "It started on a European tour," recalls Sullivan. "Elliott said a little joke thing like, 'Hey, Goldenboy.' Then someone was booking a show in LA and they needed another band. They said I was Goldenboy. I've been Goldenboy ever since."

The buzz:
"Astonishingly beautiful... a work of art."

The truth: These 10 tracks are a worthy addition to anyone's collection of fey sap-pop.

Most likely to: Make your hands form minor-chord patterns over an invisible guitar as the record "spins".

But Goldenboy are a band: Sullivan and Bos grew up in Diamond Bar, in the lush green hills 30 miles south-east of LA where entertainment is provided by a bowling alley, a pizza parlour and a shop-cum-hangout called The Music Store where the pair first met. Oh, and watching the tumbleweed blow in and out of town.

They've got quite a track record: they formed part of ex-Weezer/the Rentals man Matt Sharp's touring band, while Sullivan has played with Eels, Johnny Marr, Spain, Neil Finn - and Elliott Smith, with whom he gigged for four years until the songwriter's suicide in 2003.
Smith appears on Blue Swan Orchestra, Goldenboy's debut album, which was recorded in 2002 but is only being made widely available now (the follow-up, Underneath the Radio, has just been released in the US). The track in question is Summertime, a gentle Beatles-y groove with a melancholy autumnal ambience haunted by Smith's backing vocals. You can detect the influence of another Smith on Blue Swans of Water, which sounds like classic forlorn Moz circa Well I Wonder or Back to the Old House.

Least likely to:
Make you play air guitar along with it.

File next to: Belle & Sebastian, the Smiths, Midlake, Sufjan Stevens.

What to buy: Blue Swan Orchestra is released by Split Records on April 9.

Paul Lester, Guardian Unlimited

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