We like P.J.M. Bond who we’ve featured a couple of times now. The Dutch musician has a new EP coming up entitled ‘Big Two Hearted River‘, a 3 song release that is a stepping stone to the album ‘In Our Time‘ which will be out on October 6th. It’s not, you’ll be surprised to hear, a tribute to the BBC Radio 4 show presented by Melvyn Bragg and a rotating cast of academics, but does have an oblique connection as they have of course discussed the actual inspiration for the release – Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s 1925 debut short story collection was called ‘In Our Time‘ and the album has the ambitious task of having a song for each of the seventeen stories in the collection such as “Indian Camp,” “The Three-Day Blow” and the inspiration for today’s song “Big Two-Hearted River.”
P.J.M. Bond earned his spurs with his band Dandelion, with whom he released several singles and EPs, and two full-length albums: ‘Everest‘ (2016) and ‘Laika, Belka, Strelka’ (2019). In addition, Bond is an oft-asked session pianist for many Dutch bands including another Dutch favourite of Americana UK VanWyck. Bond released his debut solo EP titled ‘Sunset Blues’ via Concerto Records in 2021, and we kind of liked it. And the same feeling applies to this latest release – this is a song so laid back it’s in danger of falling over, it’s as warm as a Summer’s day and as mellow as a burbling brook. Wherever Bond has pitched his tent is a perfect spot, we’re willing to bet even the midges are giving it a pass. You might think Fleet Foxes – you might also think America on their debut album.
Why Hemingway though you may ask, and well the answer is that P.J.M. Bond is obsessed (his words, not ours!) with the author – he obtained a Research MA at the University of Amsterdam and is a regular visitor and speaker at the international biannual Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald conferences, which sees dozens of irrationally obsessed scholars and aficionados talk about nothing else but these two authors for a week. So is there an EP of songs derived from ‘Flappers and Philosophers’ in the future? We don’t know, but I guess we wouldn’t bet against it.