Boris Smile is a folk-pop collective from Long Beach, CA. They mainly create up-beat pop music mixed with an array of orchestral sounds. Main songwriter, A. Wesley Chung, writes honest, amusing, and heartfelt lyrics that open a dialogue with the listener.
The band got its start in 2004 as Chung was graduating high school. He had fallen out of love with the pop music he had been creating with his band Bangarang (a short-lived high school pop/punk group) and began writing music on his own. By 2004, he had a small repertoire of songs under his belt and began to perform under the name Boris Smile, named after his young Russian neighbor. The solo project became a band and the band quickly became a fixture in the local music scene.
In 2005, the band tried to record its first full-length album, recording 10 songs in three days. After months of mixing and frustration, the band decided the best thing to do was to record the album anew. The "Kurt EP" was released in the summer of 2005, a collection of most of the tracks from this first swipe at the album.
After allowing a few years for the arrangements to become matured and comfortable, Boris Smile released their first full-length record entitled "Chapter I" in the summer of 2007. The album follows Chung’s personal experiences in high school, documenting the angst, self-doubt, and absurdity of youth.
During the final stages of “Chapter I,” the band began working on the next full-length record, a collection of B-sides and lo-fi home recordings entitled "Young and it Feels So Good." Chung produced, engineered, and mixed the whole 18 track record, recording almost all of it in his dining and living room. After six months of work, the album was released in the spring of 2008. “Young and it Feels so Good” is an exploration of youth culture that touches on four main themes of celebration, social separation, the “culture of cool”, and growth.
In the Fall of 2008, Boris Smile released the “Beartooth EP.” Produced by Chung and newest recruit Seth Shafer (tuba, keys), “Beartooth” stands out as the darkest release in the Boris Smile catalog. The “Beartooth EP” is Boris Smile’s first release with Michigan indie label Count Your Lucky Stars Records. The EP stays true to the pop sensibilities of older Boris Smile while entering a moodier world of Chung’s writing, which is only enhanced by Shafer’s brooding arrangements.
Boris Smile is currently working on a new release entitled the “Rockets EP,” which will be released sometime in 2009.
MEMBERS (as of December 2007):
A. WESLEY CHUNG – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, arrangements; JON PALSGROVE – drums, percussion; ABIGAIL DAVIDSON – vocals, clarinet, percussion; AVI BUFFALO – electric guitar, lap steel; MEAGAN CHRISTY – trumpet; MATT PROFFITT – trombone; DOUG BROWN – bass; SETH SHAFER – tuba, keys, arrangement;
- Alternative, Pop
- boris smile
Liner Notes: BORIS SMILE:
Alan Archambault (electric guitar, lap steel, dobro)
Andrew Chen (violin)
A. Wesley Chung (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion, glockenspiel)
Jason Chung (bass, vocals)
Abigail Davidson (clarinet, vocals)
Jon Palsgrove (drums, percussion, shouts)
Heather Robertson (vocals)
Beth Balmer (viola, cello, keys, accordion, vocals)
Kate Bennett (vocals)
Alyssa Burge (vocals)
Jon Carman (keyboard [electric cheese], vocals, banjo, percussion)
Tyler Chittick (tuba)
Brian Chung (piano, string arrangement on “Emergencies”)
Jessica Dobson (electric guitar, vocals, keys, bass)
Adam Edwards (trombone)
Ed Keller (French horn, trumpet, glockenspiel)
Chuck Maizland (mandolin)
Erik Nieto (percussion)
Matt Proffitt (vocals)
Rebecca Rivera (bassoon)
Bill Roberts (vocals)
Wendy Tunnicliff (cello)
Johanna Vanderbeek (flute, oboe)
All songs written by A. Wesley Chung and boris smile
(note: each instrumentalist brought his/her own style and creativity to this record, without their input the record would not be the same)
A Toy Record Production (www.toyrecords.com)
All songs produced and mixed by A. Wesley Chung and Victor Orlando Nieto, except “Adventures with Rockets” produced and mixed by A. Wesley Chung, Victor Orlando Nieto, and Jessica Dobson
All songs engineered by Victor Orlando Nieto at Toy Records Studio A in Long Beach, CA.
Additional engineering at the Red Room in Long Beach, CA and at the Chung house family room in Los Alamitos, CA.
All songs mastered by Mike Mierau at TSC Mastering (Stanton, CA)
All songs © 2007 published by The Great Albatross (ASCAP)
Art/Design by A. Wesley Chung
Photo by Kurt Simonson (www.kurtsimonson.com)
Layout by Ivan Vejar (www.ivanvejar.com)
Online at: www.borissmile.com or www.myspace.com/borissmile
P.O. Box 1103
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Thanks to Everyone who helped us make this record. Your patience and hard work will not be forgotten.
Special thanks to:
Brian and Jo Anne Chung, the Nieto family, Jessica Dobson, Jon Carman, Brad Lindsay, Eric and Beth Balmer, Tara and Erin Pearce, Paul Murufas, Werner Ramirez, McKenzie Stribich, Gina Stine, Louie Huesmann, Mark Stump, Gilbert Acevedo III, Ben and Johanna Vanderbeek, Jeremy Troutt, Chuck Maizland, Kurt Simonson, Stevie Kugelberg, Brian Quines and Mike Raboy, Damien Smith, Ray Barbee, Eric Bradfield, Fielding, The Sea Monsters, The Red River, the Aztecs, Lightmusic, Ryan Green, Rory Felton, Chris Donohue, Tim Palsgrove, Milo Michell, Mike Mierau, everyone at Grace Brethren Long Beach, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“Very Special Thanks to Victor Orlando Nieto, without you, this album never would have happened… thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” – Wesley, Jon, Jason, Alan, Abby, Andrew, and Heather
Adventures with Rockets
Home (folk in G sharp)
Cheaters Never Prosper
Shake Your Booty
Gina Stine #9
My Empty Present
Smile Once in a While
Young and It Feels so Good
- Pop, Rock
- Boris Smile
Liner Notes: All songs written by A. Wesley Chung and Boris Smile, except "Seasons" (written by A. Wesley Chung, Jon Palsgrove, and Stevie Kugelberg).
All lyrics by A. Wesley Chung.
All songs produced, mixed, and engineered by A. Wesley Chung.
All songs mastered by Seth Shafer.
All songs copyright 2008 published by The Great Albatross (ASCAP).
Art design by A. Wesley Chung.
Photo by Greg and Holly Jones.
Layout by Kurt Simonson (www.kurtsimonson.com)
Dedicated to the young people of Murufest and Grace Brethren youth groups.
The Boris Smile Family:
-Alan Archambault (electric guitar, lap steel, dobro)
-Avi Buffalo (electric guitar, vocals)
-Jon Carman (keys, vocals, flute)
-Andrew Chen (violin)
-Meagan Christie (trumpet, vocals)
-A. Wesley Chung (vocals, acoustic guitar, xylophone, recorder, shouts, piano, tape recorder, percussion)
-Brian Chung (piano)
-Jason Chung (bass)
-Abigail Davidson (vocals, clarinet, shouts)
-Adam Edwards (trombone)
-Hannah Ellis (vocals, shouts)
-Rory Felton (bass)
-Ed Keller (french horn)
-Stevie Kugelberg (bass)
-Brad Lindsay (electric guitar, mandolin)
-Jon Palsgrove (drums, percussion, shouts, vocals)
-Matt Proffitt (trombone, vocals)
-Rebecca Rivera (bassoon)
-Seth Shafer (tuba, keys, organ)
-Christian Turner (upright bass, bass clarinet)
Young and It Feels So Good...
A Cruel Time In Life
False Words and Hummingbirds...
Home [Sing Along]
Keep It Safe
Love's Gotta Come From the Heart...
Megan Eve of Destruction
Kids Wearing Business Casual...
Will It Last
Las Aventuras Con Cohetes
Goodnight Moon [Revisited]...
When We Found the Truth