Boniface is the brainchild and primary creative outlet for Canada's Michele ii Visser. A young artist who once comfortably blended in with the suburban landscape in which she grew up in (Saint Boniface is also the peaceful city in which she resides, on the outskirts of Winnipeg), but has since spent the last eighteen months finding not only her voice and this innate ear for deliriously affecting song-craft, eventually finding herself too; where she sits, her identity, and what she truly believes in and stands for.
“Boniface” is a catalogue of Michele ii and her band’s most formative coming-of-age experiences, each moment captured in diary-like detail and set against a magnificently sprawling backdrop. Throughout the album, Michele ii reflects on falling in love and facing heartbreak whilst struggling with identity, never failing to find an ineffable beauty within all the pain. The result is a body of work both bracingly honest and powerfully exhilarating–an emotional journey that Visser encapsulates as “taking little detours and exploring the times when everything feels perfect.”
Growing up in Winnipeg, Visser wrote the songs for the album at home throughout during those tentatively indecisive late teens and early twenties, after shifts at the local coffee shop and lost nights in the city. This intimacy has been preserved on “Boniface”, with the songs largely recorded in the room they were written, with Visser’s brother Joey and longtime collaborator Micheal Dunn also on hand. The trio eventually travelled to London to finish up work with producer/engineer Neil Comber (Charli XCX, M.I.A., Glass Animals) who helped bring Boniface’s lavish arrangements to full and dazzling life.
Visser points to a certain touchstone behind the making of their full-length debut: a mission of gently encouraging others to embrace total vulnerability. “There’s so much negativity in the world, and it’s easy to get caught in that cycle of being closed off and negative too–and then projecting that onto other people, and just continuing the cycle,” says Visser. “I’ve found that in my personal life, pushing myself to be more open helps other people to open up as well, so then it becomes a cycle of positivity instead. And I know that it’s really scary to do that, but hopefully opening up in my music will help people to feel safe. I’d love for people to hear these songs and feel inspired, like they can do anything they want with their lives.”
Boniface toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, earning stripes and getting match fit whilst performing alongside Foals, Let’s Eat Grandma, Blaenavon, The Joy Formidable White Lies, Sundara Karma and Circa Waves.