AA Bondy

Belivers, A.A. Bondy’s latest album, has been impossible for me to review. I’ll first point out that I am in love with the album, but it’s different from every album I’ve listened to this year. It has a few songs that rise above others, like “Surfer King” and “Rte. 28/Believers,” but they serve as crests on the album’s waves that ebb and flow in a dream state. It’s played for months in my car, house, headphones and one day I found myself immersed.

The album’s sound is soaked in guitar reverb and awash in the warm rasp of Bondy’s vocals. Lyrically, the album is a puzzle. You’ll find very little that makes literal sense, leaving every turn of phrase open for interpretation. Let’s have a look at “Surfer King:”

Behind the red door, in American skin
There is a murder of roses
In the midnight hiss, come cover me there
For I am electric nothing

Out on the tide, strangers all
Are drowning by
Under eclipse, I wait for your kiss
With the beating of all…
These idiot hearts

And no more evil now, no horror sound
No maniac song from tyrant
And the surfer king will show me everything
In the great, green flash of the evening

Out on the tide, strangers we ride
Smoke in our eyes
Under eclipse, I wait for your kiss
With the beating of all…
These idiot hearts

And so goes the abyss that is lyrical beauty on Believers. This is a slight departure from the Folk/Americana style on Bondy’s two previous albums, but it’s a fantastic record that breezes by in the blink of an eye, filling your room with an atmosphere of warmth and calm. But that calm may be interrupted by feelings of trepidation. It’s the feeling of walking alone on a deserted city street, lit by moon or by a dim streetlight. You may check over your shoulder from time to time. You may feel as if you’re being watched.

If Believers doesn’t agree with you immediately, give it more time. It will slowly permeate your mind.

A.A. Bondy is in Chicago at Lincoln Hall tonight and we have a pair of tickets to give away. Email freeshit@hearya.com with your full name and “Bondy Giveaway” in the subject line to nab them. We’ll pick a winner at high noon.

A.A. Bondy – The Heart Is Willing

Dig into our Live Session with A.A. Bondy, if you haven’t already.

 

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New Track from AA Bondy – New Album Coming Soon

by That Guy on August 13, 2011

AA Bondy is pretty close to being the Pippa Middleton of HearYa – we (and our readers) are obsessed with him. Not only has he done two fantastic HearYa Live Sessions (see session 1 and session 2), we also named his 2009 release, When the Devil’s Loose, our top album of that year. It’s held up amazingly well over the last two years, and I still listen to it regularly.

So when I heard Mr. Bondy was releasing a new album, entitled Believers, on our beloved Fat Possum records September 13th, my nipples got hard. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ALBUM. I’M SHOUTING AT YOU.

Listen to the opening track off the new album below, and look for Believers in about a month.

AA Bondy – The Heart Is Willing
AA Bondy – The Heart Is Willing by fatpossum

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My affection for A.A. Bondy is threatening my heterosexuality.‚  It’s partially because of the music, but there’s also an allure to his persona. The folk singer that takes the stage with his trusty guitar, harmonica and warm voice that can soothe even the most hardened soul.‚  The lone troubadour that earns his keep in front of crowds, spinning tales and giving a glimpse of his spirit in song.

Bondy visited us for a session last year and explained that he’d been sleeping at rest stops in his car because he hates hotels and the chemicals used to sterilize the rooms. That’s what I call a modern day cowboy. And while I’m sure it’s lonely as an indie singer-songwriter on tour, there’s something romantic about the open road and the quest to win over new fans doing what you love doing.

While A.A. Bondy’s stellar debut album American Hearts was a solo affair, he’s enlisted a band on When The Devil’s Loose. Not a full orchestra or brass section or anything, but just the right touch of electric guitar and piano to to provide a backdrop for the gloomy lyrical imagery. The album starts with an acoustic song, “Mightiest of Guns,” that would have fit perfectly on the previous record (it was written in ’07), but it also serves as a segue into the newer material on When The Devil’s Loose. “A Slow Parade” follows and ambles slowly along over piano and winding electric guitar solos while lyrics speak of waves crashing around and the sea “talking sweet to me.” The music fits the lyrics perfectly and it’s easy to feel like you’re floating on the tide.

Despite what conclusions you might draw from the cover art or dark lyrics, Bondy’s music is a sort of therapy.‚  You can hit play, listen straight through and immediately hit play again. Your stresses will slowly just fade away and you find a calming peace by the time “The Mercy Wheel” is halfway over. I can’t think of a better album for the coming months, when you awake to the leaves falling to the ground and feel the crisp air on those fall mornings.

Side note: I have a feeling I’ll be needing‚  some A.A. Bondy after USC takes it to my Buckeyes on Saturday.

A.A. Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose

A.A. Bondy – I Can See The Pines Are Dancing

Exclusive: AA Bondy – Mightiest of Guns (from our live session w/ A.A. Bondy)

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aa bondy cover art

AA Bondy just released the title track from his upcoming album, When The Devil’s Loose, due out Sept 1 via Fat Possum Records. He’s making a departure from the solo, acoustic sounds of his debut American Hearts. On When The Devil’s Loose, Bondy is moving into full band territory and we’re beyond excited to have him (and the band) scheduled for another live session later this summer. If you haven’t already, head over to hear our first live session with AA Bondy.

AA Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose

From American Hearts:

AA Bondy – There’s A Reason

AA Bondy – Vice Rag

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Top 10 Albums We Missed In 2007

December 11, 2008

As Oz and I tirelessly compile our list of 2008’s top 50 albums, we continue to bring up 2007 releases that were inexplicably left off last year’s list. Let’s chalk it up to rookie blogging or heads up asses. The good news is that most of the acts listed below have releases coming out in […]

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A.A. Bondy, Live Session #36

December 8, 2008

A.A. Bondy’s 2007 release, American Hearts, is a deep album that begs the listener to take pause and give some thought and concentration to the music. His poetic words float over a sparse instrumentation to give them added weight. Upon hearing that Bondy would be flying solo at the session, my anticipation grew. Fresh off […]

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AA Bondy @ Schubas on Monday [Chicago Show]

November 7, 2008

AA Bondy is going to be at Schubas on Monday, November 10th and I’m 87% 100% sure he’s coming in for a live session with us beforehand. I described his debut, American Hearts, as “damn near perfect” and I haven’t changed my mind. I’m still in love with that album. Catch him at Schubas if […]

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