Strapped in for the ride


Olivia Gulino, Contributing Writer


–Photo courtesy of That Sweet Sound
–Photo courtesy of That Sweet Sound

The album is only 10 tracks long (one track being a mere minute-and-a-half instrumental), but it has staying power. When it ends, it does so sooner than I want it to, and I’m left replaying it on a loop, holding on to the hope that maybe it’ll be longer this time. The album in question is the self-titled debut by Bootstraps that’s recently been flooding my headphones.

Bootstraps is based in Los Angeles, and last year, the band dropped its gem of a first album, which the band’s founder and lead singer Jordan Beckett desired to be a road trip record. The result is precisely that. Bootstraps is particularly unique because its music invites you, not to a particular place, but to a multitude of them. Its distinctive sound is also partially due to Beckett’s raspy vocals, which are reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne’s similarly unconventional voice. While there is a definite similarity in their voices, “Bootstraps” is a rarity in today’s music scene.

The opening instrumental track, aptly titled “Road Noise,” starts the journey off right. This song puts the wheels to the asphalt and initiates the journey. “OH CA,” the quintessential song about California, is not so much about California as it is about leaving the Golden State behind.

The rest of the album takes you on the highway, but as you might have predicted, this journey is metaphorical. The road trip you begin with Bootstraps is also a kind of inner exploration, leading eventually to the final track, “Revel,” where you’re asked if you’ve “had some revelation” yet.

I would venture to say that this album is more about the whole than the parts (the individual tracks, the vocals, the drums, the guitars). Bootstraps takes its listeners on a road trip. So give it a shot – roll down the windows and drive.

You can listen to the complete album online at



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