Good rock and roll music is a rather universal thing. It has no boundaries culturally, or geographically. Australian singer/songwriter Tim Fontaine hasn’t been in the New York City music scene for very long. He packed his bags, hopped on a plane, and landed here in the city back in 2011 in hopes of bringing his musical poetry to new audiences around the city. He wasted no time as he quickly put a band together, acquired the stage moniker BOROKO, and has started to become a regular at LES venues like Rockwood Music Hall. With a voice full of tenor tonality very similar to a young Elton John and music that comes from influences like to the Black Crows, it’s not really a surprise to see why.
In 2013 Fontaine put all his creativity onto tape as he recorded and released his first album, Almost Human. Recorded at Level 11 Studios, Fontaine took it upon himself to express exactly what he wanted the album to be musically. In doing so all the instrumentation on the album, with exception of saxophone and drums. The ten-song album varies in style and emotional feel, which gives it a rather unique personality when trying to categorize it. No harm no foul however; it’s that diversity in song style throughout the album that helps you appreciate Fontaine’s songwriting ability. ‘Faith’ carries the characteristics of a jazz standard that one might hear coming from Blue Note on any given night. ‘Hanging In the Gallery’ is the song that defines the band, with it’s indie guitar licks, pop-friendly lyrical components, and up-tempo that you get from their live show. The albums hidden gem has to be ‘The Man Inside’. As the last track on the album, the haunting ballad written around acoustic guitar gives listeners a simple, yet effective look inside the musical mind of Fonataine, which can be both complicated and gloriously entertaining at the same time.
It’s interesting to think of what genre BOROKO would fall into. He’s a new-age singer songwriter with hints of pop ability and rock and roll charisma. His live show carries its own unique personality. His backing band has just as diverse abilities as Fontaine does and like any good frontman, he knows how to bring the most out of his teammates up on stage. If you want a new sound that makes you feel good and keeps you wondering how to categorize the music, give BOROKO a listen.
Article by Tom Shackleford
Photo Credit: Luis Ruiz