A.A. Bondy “Enderness” (Fat Possum, 2019)

A.A.Bondy is an Alt-Folk songwriter from Birmingham, Alabama. Bondy was originally the lead singer and guitarist in rock band Verbena, before making the jump to being a solo artist in 2003. ‘Enderness’ is Bondy’s 4th offering, and his first in eight years. Bondy says about the album “I was getting drunk  and watching Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and there’s this character Homer who asks: “What is it about peace that makes its story so hard to tell?”  Killers 3 is my answer to that question.” Bondy plays all of the instruments himself on ‘Enderness’ which is being released on May 10th Via Fat Possum Records.

The First thing you notice about the album as a whole is the sparse production choices that have been made. Bondy has quite clearly gone for quality over quantity in production land, and that has worked beautifully. The four main instruments that come across are synths, drums, bass guitar and vocals and Bondy has dived down the creative rabbit hole with all of them.

This record covers a number of different feels throughout. Though for the most part remains pretty catchy, Bondy’s choices of chord sequences are inventive but also traditional, allowing the listener to keep up with his bouncy hooks. The two lead singles ‘Killers 3’ and ‘Images of Love’ really stand out as favourites. ‘Killers 3’ is lead by a tremolo heavy synth, which catches your ear but doesn’t take your main concentration off Bondy’s main vocal line. ‘Images of Love’ is a groovier number, with a catchy bass line which contrasts ‘Killers 3’ in a pleasing manor. 

‘Pan Tran’ and ‘Fentanyl Freddy’ take a turn to what is almost Alt-Pop, these are two very radio friendly tracks. ‘Pan Tran’ is a fully instrumental track which features big ambient synths, soaked in reverb and delay. It doesn’t seem out of place in what has already been a very synth fuelled album and makes for a nice interlude. ‘Fentanyl Freddy’ is the biggest production of the record and the most up tempo. Bondy’s vocals are very dry and emotional creating an almost hypnotic vibe. The bass guitar, used sparingly in the main head of the track is subby and really kicks you in the gut alongside the punchy kick drum.

All in all this album is quite impressive. A.A. Bondy has been very creative whilst also being very sparse and has taken a big leap into the world of ambient electronic music. This record is slightly different to Bondy’s previous albums, but you feel (maybe after a couple of listens) that he has been successful in his change. 

Experimental offering from Alabama Alt-Folk artist, A.A. Bondy
7/10

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