I was told Bombadil, who hail from Durham, NC, were a pop-folk act that I needed to listen to.
Seeing they hail from the same state as a certain Brothers band that I adore enough to tattoo their cover art on me, I figured why the heck not.
I cannot say I’d heard of Bombadil prior to checking them out, but after doing a little research, I learned that they have been around since 2005 and caught the attention of Ramseur Records thanks to their MySpace page. Next month, the band is dropping their fifth full length album on titled Hold On.
I was not sure about “Coughing on the F Train” when I first listened to it. The song reminded me of an 80s track mixed with a storyline Beck might have created in the 90s. Overall, it was catchy, but just slower in some areas. One song in and I already started to wonder if this band had any folk in them (Note: Their older material has a much heavier folk appeal to it from what I have listened to after writing this up).
“Amy’s Friend” cleared my question up immediately. This track was a gentle duet that clearly has swooning abilities with great harmonies throughout.
I enjoyed “Bill You For Your Trash”, especially the guitar solo towards the end. I could not help but think of Simon & Garfunkel in a sense while listening to this track.
“I Can’t Believe in Myself and Love You Too” made me just want to crawl in a hole with a bottle of something strong. What a sad track. I can not say I dug the backing vocals though, it was almost too much.
“Framboise” was one of my favorite tracks on the album. It was almost like listening to something from the 60s. I loved the mix of French and English singing on this track. I secretly wish this song would have morphed into a “Bohemian Rhapsody” of sorts. The explosion at the end I was waiting for, never happened though. Still, very creative track.
“Love You Too Much” carried one hell of a Motown feel. Robinson’s vocal range on this track was impressive to say the least. I have the feeling this track is ten times better live.
I laughed to myself when I saw the title “Rhapsody in Black and White” given my previous thought regarding Queen. I was not too sure about this track. It was almost too weird. I understood the premise, but was this serious or satire? Also, can I just comment how much Robinson sounds like Pete Townshend? I can not tell you how long it took me to find the perfect comparison, but while listening to this song, it finally struck me.
“Honest” should have been called “Brutally Honest”. If this was not a personal confession of revalation, then Robinson has one creative ass thought process. This track easily could have been a Brand New track. I am not sure how many of you will even understand what I just stated, so allow me to clarify: This track was super heavy on the emo, even with the random electronic breakdown towards the end. This was an amazing, powerful song that I was not expecting.
“Love Is Simply” closed out the album with a very well put together composure. There was so much going on in this track. I candidly thought of Flight of the Concords, but only due to the singing styles. This track was pro-love, at least I think it is. The burning bag comment kind of threw me off.
Bombadil has their own unique approach to pop-folk with a more subtle sound that in turn is quite comforting and catchy at times. I really think their genre is a lot broader than they get credit for.
Plenty of people are going to get into this band with Hold On as it almost caters to everyone. With plenty of creativity in creating their own style, I can admit that I am now a fan.