This is certainly very different from the last project we covered from Cambodian-born guitarist and singer/songwriter Bonarath Bory, which was the quirky and noisy garage band, Downtown/Union. As Bon Wrath (meaning “good fury”), he released a soaring, poetic and powerful 4-track debut EP called Wind Horse (on Sherpa Music MGMT’s label, in association with Jawsey Bruce Records). Blending acoustic and electric guitar, traditional wisdom and modern sensibilities, it’s deeply personal and quietly haunting, music and words coming together and packing a hefty emotional punch.
In the opening track, “Where The Scars Never Heal,” Bory tells the heart-wrenching story of “a Cambodian farmer who survived the atrocities of the genocide, only to realize that he is still living a life of oppression by a corrupt modern day government.” It brings together three generations of Bory’s family. His nephew plays guitar, while his mother introduces the song with a reverential Khmer version (the EP closes with a full acapella version). The release of the song back in April marked the 40th anniversary of the fall of Cambodia and the beginning of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Also included on the release is an exclusive Haunted Summer recording and mix of “The Future is Here.” The second single, “For All You Do,” is sweetly sung and softly played, with a delicate melody. This is a gentle song of love and appreciation, and is described by the artist as simply “a song about gratitude.” It’s in stunning contrast to the poignant “Scars.”
Wind Horse can be listened to in its entirely and purchased on bandcamp. Bonarath Bory will be performing at The Lexington in Los Angeles on June 12 and at Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco on July 19.