Boy at Venue, Vancouver

Swiss-German duo Boy

Swiss-German duo Boy

When I first heard Mutual Friends, the debut album by Boy, I did a double take. The record by the Swiss-German duo reminded me of early Feist, from around the time of her 2004 record, Let It Die.

The more I listened to Mutual Friends, the more I thought – this was the best album that Feist had never recorded.

The comparison, though, is unfair to Boy. Swiss singer Valeska Steiner and German bassist Sonja Glass have created their brand of delicate indie pop, filling a sweet spot that lies somewhere between Feist and Beth Orton.

Fans got their first chance to sample the melodic sound when the band played their debut Vancouver show at Venue on October 21.

Bringing the songs of Mutual Friend to life with Steiner and Glass were four musicians on drums, percussion, guitar and keyboard.

The result was a captivating show that sparkled with life.

Delectable delights

Valeska Steiner of BoyBoy seemed surprised by the warmth flowing their way. Steiner kept smiling, bringing her right hand to her chest.

The crowd was full of fans who sang along to the tales of delight, desire and disappointment.

When Steiner announced the next song was a quiet one, a hush fell over the fans.

There are rare shows when a slow number is a highlight. But with the tune, July, Boy cast a stillness that mesmerised the audience.

In contrast, Boy revealed a harder edge with Boris. Steiner imbued the gentle melody of the track with restrained anger, sharing a disturbing story of sexual harassment.

Introducing the track, Steiner explained how she was glad to be in Vancouver, far away from the unwanted attentions of ‘Boris’ back in Germany.

For the encore, the duo treated fans to a new song, Into the Wild.  By then, they had played most of their debut album. So Boy launched into a raucous cover of Lonely Boy by the Black Keys.

Few bands can get away with ending a show with a waltz. Boy can.

Backed by the support act, Jeremy Messersmith, Steiner and Glass entranced fans with Waltz For Pony. It was a magical way to conclude a delectable evening of delight.


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