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Standout Track: No. 1, “Medicine,” a histrionic, lyric-driven indie rock track by D.C. duo Boon. Written and recorded by American University seniors Brendan Principato and Jesse Paller, Boon’s debut Rome EP is a collection of rock songs where conflicts between intimacy, theatricality, and performance play out. The EP isn’t particularly fashionable—you’d be hard-pressed to find a D.C. band that puts vibratoed vocals as high and clear in the mix as Boon does—but the record makes enough unconventional choices to be distinct yet accessible. “Medicine” is its best track, playing the strength of Principato’s vocal delivery against the vulnerability of its lyrics.

Musical Motivation: Principato didn’t play instruments for several months while living abroad in Italy, so when he came up with a key melody for “Medicine” while wandering down a boardwalk, he captured it in an iPhone voice memo. “I looked crazy,” Principato says. “I was just humming it into my phone and my sister was like, ‘What are you doing?’” The melody survived several other songs he calls “trash” before becoming the hook at the tail end of “Medicine.”

Shitstain on the Internet: Currently, Boon’s only merchandise item is a black T-shirt emblazoned with the text “Boon: the s***stain on the underwear of the Internet,” a quote from one of the band’s interviews with AU’s school paper, the Eagle. The band says the shirts aren’t for sale, though—Paller’s dad, who hired an L.A. screenprinter to make the shirts, only paid for three.

Stream “Medicine” after the jump.