Our Own Somewhere – Wherever You Go

Our Own Somewhere
Wherever You Go

Our Own Somewhere consists solely of Chris Boehk, an Austin resident who can’t keep from making music. In addition to releasing music under the Our Own Somewhere name, Mr. Boehk plays in proper bands such as Search for Saturnalia (drums), We Talked About Murder (bass), and Beta Valentine (drums again). Wherever You Go, his most recent solo release, doesn’t especially show off the chops he’s picked up with those other outings, but perhaps that’s the point.

The four songs on Wherever You Go showcase his simple approach to songwriting. The winsome appeal of these tracks derives in part from the unadorned nature of the music. The standard guitar-bass-drums lineup, coupled with the melancholy J. Mascis-like vocals, doesn’t ever try to be more than it is. Although recorded in a “proper studio at maximum volume,” according to the label, you wouldn’t really guess that about it. For the most part, these songs would still convey well if performed unplugged.

There seems to be a consistent message here, judging by the song titles: “If You’re Going to Go, You’d Better Leave Now,” “Everywhere You Go,” “If You Go, Take Me With You,” and “Wherever You Go.” The third track, in 3/4 time, swings a little more than the others but still hints at the themes of disappointment and regret that crop up repeatedly: “We are here / We are one / Forget all your lies.” In contrast, “If You’re Going to Go, You’d Better Leave Now” sounds peppy and almost poppy; the rapid strumming of the guitar recalls Johnny Marr.

Wedged between these two songs is “Everywhere You Go.” The simple guitar lines – the chords are reserved for the choruses – establish the song’s mood, harking back to the understated but effective modus operandi of the Coachmen and Backyard-era Miracle Legion. Finishing out the album on a slower note, the title track sounds more like Red House Painters or Idaho than do the other tracks – rhythmically, especially, but also in terms of the personal and maybe confessional lyrics. The song builds to a loud ending that shows off a little of the “proper studio at maximum volume” mentioned earlier.

Mr. Boehk owns and runs the Has Anyone Ever Told You? label (featuring a small stable of bands in addition to Our Own Somewhere) with his wife. With all the songs on this release centering on people leaving and going away, let’s hope this album isn’t too personal and specific, as we’d hate to lose an indie label that’s actively putting out lots of otherwise-unheard music.