BOBBY’s Arrival

THE SICK MILK is out of the bottle, curdled and primed to engulf your headphones after NPR premiered BOBBY’s debut eponymous album off Partisan Records on their website, further proving the enormous benefits reaped when tax dollars are invested in the arts and communication.  BOBBY is officially slated to drop June 21st.

In the May 2011 issue of The Wire, Bryan Sheffield wrote an excellent feature on Amanda and Britt Brown, the owners of Not Not Fun, and their insistence on analogue mediums over digital.  Sheffield quotes NNF artist High Wolf, ” ‘With analogue, there is a constraint, but it is liberating'”, then adds, “this concept – freedom through submission, bliss as surrender – is deeply mystical…But more important, the concept is also deeply musical: rapture as being rapt, detained against your will”.

The same must be said for BOBBY, an album that is fully appreciated once the listener lets go and resigns themselves to the deeply complex and diverse compositions at hand.  Each track takes time to fully develop, slowly and deliberately adding layers to polyrhythmic foundations that grow to blossom with vibrant shades and full-bodied emotions.  Stories are told incrementally through the individual tracks, shedding light on different angles and approaches utilized by Tom Greenberg and company that synthesize together to form a complete body of music.

The 12/8 rhythm of “Nap Champ” cradles with its woozy energy, a half asleep lullaby of cushy rhythm guitar and vocals from Greenberg and Molly Erin Sarle that quickly awakens after Martin Zimmermann’s somnolent beat becomes infused with a swinging ride cymbal pattern and Julian Labat’s insane bass skills are unleashed in an array of wicked licks and hyper speed lines.

“It’s Dead Outside”, a holdover from Greenberg’s senior show at Bennington College, initially thrums with a woodsy and warm acoustic guitar and the twinkling starry tinks of a Rhodes keyboard.  There is an unsteady calm, a seemingly stable rhythm that explodes halfway through the track like a firework, illuminating the night sky in a druggy waterfall of laser beam synth, elongated vocals and bellowing drums.

“Ginger (Water Birth)” ranks with “Groggy” as jazner‘s favorite track and is available for download at Stereogum.  Greenberg’s vocals are so full of passion and ache, they pierce through to one’s inner core and fill it with the sweet honey of harmony.  Sarle claims “something’s in the water”, and it could very well be her voice, an effect distorting and chopping her part to imitate a sense of being underwater.  Paired with wonky keys that shimmer and glean, “Ginger (Water Birth)” is a special jam full of emotion that imbues warmth and comfort after each listen.

Not to be forgotten is “Loading Phase”, the second shortest and strictly instrumental track on the album that showcases yet another mind boggling bass part from Labat.  It begins almost innocently and angelic, but soon drops unexpectedly into a snidely, dark and sneaky vibe, with Greenberg’s guitar glowing subtly in the background.

In case the album isn’t enough, BOBBY has a national tour to boot, opening for Thao & Mirah, in which the group has already debuted new material that will be featured on future recordings.  Check out the dates below.

BOBBY has been featured many times on this blog, and it is no secret how special the crew is to jazner.  He is their honorary groupie-slash-roadie, after all.  Please dedicate some time listening to this album in full.  It will not only be recognized as one of the best of 2011, but as a monumental piece that will establish it’s own place in the music canon.

Ginger (Water Birth)


06/07 – Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear’s Place
06/08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
06/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
06/10 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
06/11 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
06/12 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
06/13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
06/14 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
06/15 – St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
06/16 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
06/18 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
06/19 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
06/20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
06/21 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
06/22 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar
06/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall


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