Every generation has a storyteller who skillfully sets our thoughts and feelings to music. The current generation has Joe Boynton, singer/songwriter with Massachusetts indie rock band Transit, to weave a tapestry of moods portraying how we live and love…plus the bumps along the way. As a lyricist, Boynton writes for two bands and describes the process as, “Sometimes I hit these peaks where I feel like this is the best stuff I have. And sometimes it will go down, depending on how busy my schedule is or if I just oversaturate the amount I write.” Although he would like to master a musical instrument, Boynton is sticking with writing and singing, which is where he excels.
Boynton is a new voice with an old soul. In the title track from their newest release, Young New England, he uses the lyrics to paint a picture of life in Boston, “Sing until the sun comes up/Oh, young New England/Drink those glasses dry/Oh, young New England.” This is how Boston parties. It is a glimpse into contemporary nightlife written with ageless lyrics that could apply to any generation, past or present.
The music of Transit may be more reflective on the new tracks, but it actually serves to breathe new life into the emo/punk scene. The lyrics are decidedly more mature, but the stage show is every bit as energetic and fun as it has been in the past. The catchy melody on “So Long, So Long” – “Sweep me away/I need to feel like I’m in the right place/Take me, let’s run away, run away, run away/I’ll be your runaway, runaway, runaway” – becomes a chant as the crowd sings louder than the band. Boynton has the distinctive ability to engage the audience, allowing them to be an integral part of every show. But the ‘wow’ moment comes at the end of the performance, when Boynton executes a perfect front flip into the audience and comes up singing. How cool is that?
Surprises are the norm for Transit fans and the upcoming projects hold even more delightful changes. In a side project, Long Lost, Boynton will feature folk/punk music that is very different from the original Transit sound. In fact, every album that Transit releases has been designed with an individual tone. Boynton explains, “I would rather have that one record that people fall in love with and have it be different from all the others, because my favorite bands have done that.” He admits that this strategy may not fit a solid business model in the music industry, but in the end they are proud of what they do, and that is what matters the most to Transit.
To a storyteller like Boynton, there is always more to say and endless stories to write. Transit’s new release Young New England premiered at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and has been met with enthusiasm by fans on their current tour with Man Overboard. Long Lost has released their full-length debut album Save Yourself, Start Again and features compelling dual vocals and clever rhythms. I am drawn to the creative albums that Boynton produces and find myself eagerly anticipating the next releases, because I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.