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A. A. Bondy: Believers
Former singer for the Southern grunge band Verbena, A.A. Bondy recast himself as a brooding Americana songwriter with his excellent 2007 solo debut American Hearts. His 2009 follow-up When the Devil’s Loose formalized the transformation, sparking unfair Ryan Adams comparisons. With Believers, recorded in Glassell Park, Calif. with Beck producer Rob Schnapf, things turns darker. Reverb swallows the vocals and steely electric guitars heighten the alienation on the impressionistic “The Twist.” “Surfer King” echoes the stately soul cadence of “People Get Ready,” while “Rt. 28/Believers” sounds like a man driving slightly stoned down a country highway. Bondy retains his introspective charm, but he’s found comfort deflecting scrutiny with a silvery and elusive sound. It’s a foreboding dreamscape worthy of accompanying the Twilight Singers into the endless night.
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