Le Bonte – “Francis Right” – Don’t Let This Define Me
Garrett Le Bonte has been making music with various punk bands in Southern California when he decided to explore patience and reflection. In 2015, he formed La Bonte, a project built on “slow resonances, discomforting absences, and wayward, creeping catharses.” As La Bonte’s bio states:
Don’t Let This Define Me, La Bonte’s debut record, frankly articulates the loneliness and isolation of love lost, but avoids confessions or saccharine sentiment. The songs are embodied and exacting, with a guttural affective impact. The record is built of loss, but it bears no traces of a lack in the songwriting’s enlivened and intelligent sense-making, we find renewed strength in radical articulations of deep vulnerability. La Bonte feels his way to planting his feet on the ground, and we do, too. Despite life’s litany of chaoses, love’s dissolution, and other furies, this record leads us (haltingly) forward.
La Bonte has created an album that requires us to slow down and reflect on loss and maybe future gain. This album deserves to be listened to at night, alone, contemplating life. The production is clear and precise, while La Bonte’s voice is almost world-weary, like a monk in his cell meditating on love lost and love to conquer, the rewards of life. The guitars always kick in at the exact right moment. The background and harmony vocals of Brooke Dickson of The Regrettes (another personal favorite) help lift this song to another level.