Blucone strikes a comfortable groove

The generally mellow, always malleable Columbus five-piece will join Ebri Yahloe and Trek Manifest in concert at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Dec. 2.
BluconeCourtesy the band

Interviewing the members of Blucone can be a bit like taking in the five-piece’s music. 

As with the crew's songs, the tone of the conversation often shifted in subtle ways as each member chimed in. And yet the overall vibe remained cohesive even as it reflected the different personalities involved, the talk ping-ponging between the band’s living room rehearsal space, where Sofi Rosado and Noah Bolte held court, and the car in which drummer/producer Ben Reineke traveled as a passenger when we all connected in mid-November. (Innes Miller and Nick Sabet complete the band’s current lineup.)

“When we first got together, we all pretty much hit it off right away,” said Reineke, who will join his Blucone bandmates in concert with Ebri Yahloe and Trek Manifest at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Dec. 2. “It was literally just us having fun. There were no qualms. It was literally just, hey, grab a guitar and play something. And now I’ll throw on some drums. Now pick up the bass, and I’ll play something on the keys. It was all very, very easy.”

But the musical conversation between the bandmates has advanced since friends and former Groove U classmates Bolte and Miller began to craft lo-fi, hip-hop-inspired beats together in 2019, taking on a different cadence after Reineke moved in with the duo in August 2021. “We were just making music in the house, and it was like, maybe we should turn this into a real thing,” said Bolte, adding that the then-trio managed to quickly amass a deep cache of instrumental songs before accepting they needed to find a singer. “And then Ben was like, ‘Hey, I know somebody.’ And she (Rosado) was the somebody.”

“We didn’t even have a name before Sofi put words to our songs,” Reineke said. “We knew there was something there [in the music], but it wasn’t complete until she joined the group.”

Rosado said she joined Blucone in October 2021 at the invitation of Reineke, who she knew from her time in Dayton. where the two attended opposing high schools. At the time, Rosado said she was looking to get more involved in music, with her lone “band” experience up to that point having taken place in a high school a cappella group.

“They would start making [music] and I would be thinking in my head, ‘Okay, what’s a melody I can do for this?’” Rosado said of her earliest rehearsals with the band. “And then I would put lyrics to it, and they would say yes or no or whatever, and then they might have some recommendations. But it was a pretty easy process.”

This tranquility bleeds over into original songs such as “Torn,” which finds Rosado gliding atop a loosely syncopated groove, her voice as smooth as rainwater on a windshield. “So Slowly” strikes a comparatively dreamy tone, at least at the onset, Rosado singing, “I don’t know who you are anymore.” In short order, though, the band sweeps in and the music picks up urgency, appearing to wash away any lingering uncertainty.

The generally chilled out vibes present in the band’s music are a reflection not only of its members personalities, but the way the songs are created, with most emerging during freeform jams that double as hang sessions.

“We try not to overthink things,” Reineke said. “We would just kind of pick what we liked, record it, and move on. We’d have multiple songs going at once, and if we got tired of one, we’d move to the next, crack open another beer. And it’s been like that almost all the time. … We treat it more like a hangout than work.”

“When we make music, someone will be like, ‘I have an idea!’ And then they play it, and everything literally just snowballs from there,” Bolte said. “We never say no to an idea, and we’ll try anything. … I say all the time that we come from different inspirations, different backgrounds. And we want to create an environment [within Blucone] where that can show up in the music.”

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