Bobby: self-titled debut (CD review)

Partisan Records CD

Bobby, a band based in Montague, Massachusetts, shares some personnel with Mountain Man (including vocalist Molly Sarle) and is filled with alums from Bennington and Hampshire Colleges. Both of these schools are places that encourage self-starters to pursue eclectic courses of study, and this shows in the group’s self-titled debut. It manages to harness the intimacy of bedroom pop while eschewing a lo-fi aesthetic in favor of a spacious, layered production aesthetic.

If one tried to pin down Bobby to a single genre, they’d likely be oversimplifying matters. The band is fascinated with the polymetric constructions of African drumming and the structures of Javanese gamelan. At the same time, the pastoral arrangements that are buoyed by these intricate rhythms frequently channel alt-folk. Sarle’s supple voice and phrasing remind one in places of Vashti Bunyan. She and band founder Tom Greenberg are fetching partners in several vocal duets on the recording. What’s more, there’s more than a smidgen of electronics savoring the mix, creating surprising juxtapositions with the more rustic post-psych guitar textures.

While locating all of these various signatures requires concentration, one’s labors are amply compensated by the often beautiful musical concoctions Bobby has on offer.


Bobby is out on 6/21 via Partisan Records.

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