BY JOHN B. MOORE
This beautifully simple 2009 record by the Durham, NC-based Bombadil should have been the album to bring this trio indie rock fame and fortune. Its 15 tracks of striking piano-based twee pop (seriously, this is the musical equivalent of Michael Cera and Zooey Deshanel in a Wes Anderson movie… but in a good way).
Opportunity is knocking yet again, thanks to the double-album vinyl re-release of Tarpits and Canyonlands and its one of those few vinyl re-releases of late that’s actually worth the cost of buying again in a new format. This record was made for the turntable. There are no singles or standout tracks made specifically for iTunes, rather his is a record you put on and listen to in the correct sequence while you look at the cover photo and read the lyrics and realize that yes, there are still bands out there that have not forgotten about the dying of making an entire record and not simple a song or two. The original album had 14 tracks, but this re-release includes the previously unreleased “Barcelona.”
Non-record nerds please feel free to skip this next paragraph. In addition, rather than just simply slathering the tracks on a big vinyl disc, blowing up the cover art and calling it a day, the band and label actually put some thought into the sound and packaging. The vinyl itself is 180 gram (a cool pink color for the collectors) with 45 rpm speed for the best sound quality. The packaging is a tri-fold jacket that includes 14 color prints on heavy stock paper, each based on a specific song – by the illustrator Robbi Behr (he’s also responsible for the cover drawing).
There is not a bad song in this folk/pop collection. With a vibe similar to bands like The Apples in Stereo and Elf Power, Bombadil should be more well-known than they are. Here’s hoping this re-release gets them there.
DOWNLOAD: “Honeymoon,” “Marriage” and “Barcelona”