Bombadil’s Upcoming Re-Issue A Rare Example Of Music Done Right

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Originality, it seems, is becoming increasingly difficult to find in the current era of music. The world of pop music is dominated by autotuned, radio ready songs aimed mainly at tweens and teens. The rock industry is equally dominated by crunching, downtuned guitars and largely indecipherable cookie monster growls. This applies across the board, whether one is listening to metalcore, deathcore, black metal or any other major subgenre of the rock world. Even the world of punk has gone increasingly down that path. And even in the world of rap, so many songs cover the same themes from one to the next. That’s not to say that every single pop act, rock band or rap artist is the same as the last. But audiences will agree that it seems increasingly difficult to find an act that truly stands out. On June 24th, North Carolina based indie rock act Bombadil will show once again that among the unoriginal music that pollutes the seas of the music industry, original and creative music does exist. That is thanks to the upcoming re-issue of the band’s 2009 album Tarpits and Canyonlands. Being that Bombadil is an indie act, even the band’s current fans may not be so familiar with this record. There are those that have never heard Bombadil’s music, either. Taking into consideration both this and the show of pure creativity and originality on the part of the band here, Tarpits and Canyonlands becomes all the more of a joy to experience. The band proves this right off the top with the album’s opener, ‘I Am.’

‘I Am’ is so enjoyable primarily for its overall composition. The song is short and simple. Its total run time comes in at only one minute and thirty-two seconds. It is short. That goes without saying. But even in that short time, there is so much going on within the song. The call and response on the part of the band members is the most notable of the many things going on in the song. The band members sing back and forth against the song’s equally simple piano line, “I am/Building you a pyramid/Lost in the sand.” It’s not just a call and response, either. The lyrics are sung in rounds, too. All of that is balanced with the introduction of one final line, which is accompanied by a guitar line that compliments both the piano and the vocals. That the band was able to balance so much in one song—and one of such short duration—is quite the statement about the band’s musicianship. That the band would even think to construct the song in such fashion as it did instead is even more of a statement. It shows real creativity. It makes the song a double threat. It’s creative and original, and it’s technically sound. So while it is short, it is also quite the statement of what listeners can expect from this album. It isn’t the only example of what makes this album a must hear, either.

Late in the album, the members of Bombadil present to listeners what is one of the most deeply emotional pieces in the record in the form of ‘Marriage.’ This song is just as simple, on the surface, as ‘I Am.’ Yet in its simplicity, there is so much going on. Pianist/vocalist Stuart Robinson presents a musical story of a couple that has been married for allegedly twenty years. It is a story of what happens after the happily ever after of the big wedding and those first years together. And to say that it is moving would be an understatement. He presents the couple asking one another how one feels about the other “after the two hundredth time” of a given situation would he or she still feel the same about the other. It starts off with supposedly the unnamed wife asking her husband, “What would you say of marriage/After the two hundredth time/I told the same joke/And then I broke/Your favorite watch/With my heel?” The husband offers his own situation, asking “What would you say of true love/After the two hundredth time/I love you/And then I blew/Your confidence/That was in my past/I thought you knew/I thought you knew/This was/Marriage.” This back and forth goes back and forth across the course of the song’s two-minute and thirty-five second run time. It is set against the gentle yet almost bittersweet strains of Robinson’s piano playing. It would have been easy for Robinson to give the song more of a playful vibe. Instead, he opted for something deeper and more emotional. He comes across with this song as wanting to show everything that the couple has endured over the course of its marriage and the all too real feelings of uncertainty that come with life together. He didn’t mean it to come across as something depressing. That’s obvious. He wanted to give the song more realism per se. And he succeeded in that arena. For that reason, ‘Marriage’ proves to be just one more of the highest of highs on this record.

Both ‘Marriage’ and ‘I Am’ are important points in the overall structure of Tarpits and Canyonlands. That is thanks to the talent and depth presented in both songs. There is much more of that talent and depth presented throughout the course of this record. But for all of the seriousness and emotional depth presented throughout the record, there is at least one song that shows the band’s more lighthearted side on the record. The song in question is ‘Oto The Bear.’ It’s a completely nonsensical song lyrically speaking, that simply must be heard to be believed. As nonsensical as it is lyrically, it is just as catchy in terms of its musical side. Robinson is accompanied by drummer James Phillips and fellow musicians Daniel Michalak and Bryan Rahja on guitar and saxophone. The entire band together crafts a song with which one can’t help but sing and dance. It’s a nice break from the more serious material included on Tarpits and Canyonlands. That’s not to say that the other songs that make up the album aren’t enjoyable. Hardly. If anything, it shows that the band’s members knew something more lighthearted was needed, thus this piece was included. And it’s a good thing that it was. That’s because it’s one more example of how fun an album can be when a band actually tries to present both talent and originality to audiences. Simply put, it’s an album that easily serves as an example of music done right.

Tarpits and Canyonlands will be available Tuesday, June 24th via Ramseur Records. Audiences can pre-order the re-issue on vinyl now at http://bombadil.spinshop.com/details/225939. The album can be downloaded digitally at http://bombadil.spinshop.com/Music/details/214209?parent_url=http%3A%2F%2Fbombadil.spinshop.com%2Fstore%2Fbombadil.spinshop.com%2FMerchandise. The band will be in Winston-Salem, North Carolina performing live at the Twin CityRib Fest this Friday in support of Tarpits and Canyonlands. It will also be in Carrboro at the famed Cat’s Cradle on Saturday, June 21st and at the Port City RibFest in Wilmington, North Carolina on Saturday, August 16th. These are just some of the band’s upcoming tour dates in support of its upcoming re-issue. Audiences can check out Bombadil’s most current tour schedule online now at http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil and http://www.bombadilmusic.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bombadil To Re-Issue Album This Summer

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

North Carolina based indie-rock band Bombadil—Stuart Robinson, Daniel Michalak, and James Phillips—will re-issue its much heralded album Tarpits and Canyonlands this Summer.

Bombadil will re-issue Tarpits and Canyonlands on Tuesday, June 24th. The album will be re-issued on a limited edition double-disc vinyl set. The album will be presented on two 180-gram, 12-inchcolored vinyl discs. The music on each disc has been re-mastered direct from the album’s original analog tapes to 24/96 and playback speed of 45rpm. They will be housed in a tri-fold jacket that holds a custom color print for fourteen of the album’s songs. The prints were painted by American illustrator Robbi Behr of Idiots’ Books.

As an added bonus for fans of Bombadil, the new vinyl re-issue will also come with a code for a free download of the entire album digitally and a bonus song,’Barcelona.’ The song was recorded during the sessions for Tarpits and Canyonlands.

Fans that might not have the means to play back a vinyl, the album will also be re-issued and available at a reduced price in stores and online. Audiences can get a taste of the album now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U4ybU1KVcQ.

More information on Bombadil’s upcoming re-issue, the band’s tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil and http://www.bombadilmusic.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bombadil’s New LP An Indie Record Done Right

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

The new upcoming album from Durham, NC based indie act Bombadil is everything that an indie record should be.  This thirteen-track record is subtle but catchy without coming across as being too proud of itself.  The four-piece engages its listeners with ease on its opener, ‘Angeline’, and keeps their ears throughout the album’s remaining songs.  The music alone, with its poppy vibe is sure to be an instant hit with fans.  Its hip-hop style beat mixed with its piano runs and equally impressive vocals make it a fitting opener for the band’s return.  It would be no surprise if it becomes a favorite among college radio programmers across the country.  That is to say it is sure to be a hit among programmers that give the song (and album) a chance.

Having made quite the first impression with the opener to its new album, the band surprises listeners on that song’s follow-up with a song that is the polar opposite to its opener in ‘Learning to Let Go.’ The addition of a horn section to this more pop-rock oriented song gives a feel that no other band out there has even begun to consider.  The music of this song is interesting in its own right.  What really makes it interesting is the contrast of its music to its lyrics.  This is another song centered on the standard topic of relationships.  This song sees the band singing about…well…letting go, plain and simple.  Typically, such a concept is accompanied by more somber sounds in most popular songs.  Bombadil’s members took the road less travelled here, opting instead for something more upbeat and optimistic.  Because of that, it is another song that is sure to impress any listener.

Bombadil surprised early on with the second song on its new album.  The surprises don’t stop there.  From the more poppy sounds of the album’s first two tracks, the band goes in more of a country direction on the album’s third song, ‘Born at Five.’  As with the album’s opener, this song’s lyrics and its music come together to make it another impressive addition to this new album.  On the upper-most surface level, it is classic country at its purist form.  It’s a story about a man’s life, from what can be inferred through the song from his birth to old age and everything in-between.  The simple use of nothing but a guitar, banjo, drums, vocals, piano, and minimalist electronics works with the song’s lyrics to make it such a beautiful song.  Even those that aren’t fans of country and bluegrass will find themselves enjoying this song and openly admitting it, too. That in itself is quite the statement.  Purist country fans on the other hand, will be gladly and openly admit how the joy brought about by the quartet.

Metrics of Affection’s opening trio of tracks is an impressive re-introduction to the band for long-time fans.  It’s just as impressive for those that are first time listeners to the band’s music.  These three songs are just the starting point for the band on this new record.  It continues to reshape its sound from one song to another throughout its remaining ten tracks.  The constant change of styles keeps listeners engaged straight through to the final fading moments of the album’s closer, ‘Thank You.’  Each one of those remaining songs has so much emotional depth both musically and lyrically.  A prime example of this is the full on-instrumental that is ‘Patience is Expensive.’  This beautiful solo piano piece is certain to move some listeners to tears.  That’s all.  The crescendos and decrescendos swell and fall in just the right spots, adding so much emotion to the song.  It’s just one more of so many examples of the impressive work crafted in this record that audiences will enjoy when they pick up the album on Tuesday, July 23rd.  It can be ordered online at the band’s website, http://www.bombadilmusic.com/.

The band has a handful of dates across North Carolina on its current tour including its upcoming performance on the coastal town of Corolla this Sunday, July 14th at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room.  The band’s other North Carolina dates and full tour schedule is available online now at the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil.  Fans can also “Like” the band’s Facebook page to keep up with all of the latest news and more from Bombadil and its members.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Durham, NC’s Bombadil Announces New Album, Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Durham, North Carolina’s own Bombadil is back.  The indie-folk/pop act is back on the road for the first time in three years.  The band is touring in support of its latest release, Metrics of Affection.  The album is slated to be released July 23rd on Ramseur Records.  The band kicks off its new tour Saturday, March 2nd at Carrboro’s famed Cat’s Cradle.  The band has been on hiatus of no doing of its own.  Daniel Michalak (bass, piano, harmonica) suffered a nerve injury that sidelined him indefinitely.  His injury had such an effect on the use of his hands that he was unable to perform and record.  But now with time, Michalak’s hands have healed enough to the point that he feels he can play again, thus leading to the recording of the band’s latest album.

The band already has one album out, titled Tarpits and Canyons.  It was released to critical acclaim.  One journalist even exclaimed of the album that the album in question should have been the one that made the band famous.  But sadly, when Michalak sustained his injury, it also sidelined the entire band.  That’s all in the past as the band is preparing to release its long awaited new LP.  While fans wait on that album, they can check out some of the band’s music online now through YouTube.  The band has a video for the song, ‘So Many Ways To Die’ posted.  Audiences can check it out now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U4ybU1KVcQ&feature=youtu.be.  The video features vintage footage of individuals and even a dog in somewhat dangerous situations.  It even includes footage of the military’s atom bomb test.  The images are rather well aligned with the song’s lyrics.  It’s something that audiences have to experience for themselves to truly appreciate.

After checking out the band’s video, fans can also hear more music from the band live as it tours.  As already noted, Bombadil will perform live at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd.  That date is followed by a performance at Krankie’s Coffee in Winston-Salem, NC next Friday, March 8th.  The band will be in Wilmington, NC the following day at The Whiskey alongside fellow bands Onward and Soldier.  The band’s last NC date before heading out across the country comes March 21st at Legends in Boone.  As the band hits the road, it will be touring alongside another well-known NC act, The Carolina Chocolate Drops.  It will be a supporting act for the Chocolate Drops at a handful of dates and for Lone Madrone at others.  For a full listing of tour dates and all of the latest news and more from the band, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil, http://www.bombadilmusic.com and http://twitter.com/wearebombadil.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.