“Quirky, multi-textured, wildly inventive, eclectic, and hugely enjoyable,” “…a combination of open-minded chamber folk and the bright and sunny pop music of the 1960s,” “Syd Barrett meets The Beatles,” are just some of the media accolades used to describe Bombadil, a band that over the past year or so has been building a steady buzz, catching the attention and support of media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, and Diffuser.
Managed by the same team that steers the career of The Avett Brothers, the North Carolina-based Bombadil – Daniel Michalak (bass, piano, harmonica, vocals), James Phillips (drums, bass, vocals), and Stuart Robinson (piano, ukulele, vocals) – produced and recorded their new album, Hold On (March 24, 2015/Ramseur Records) over a nine-month period in 2014, scheduling the sessions into the spare moments between tour dates. The album is an amalgamation of rapturous harmonies, sparkling instrumentals, poignant songwriting, and layers of imaginative arrangements that show off the band’s folk roots, but with traces of funk, country, rap, R&B, and New Wave-inspired dance beats. Hold On is an album that surveys the terrain of love with songs full of hope and ironic humor.
All three members wrote and sing songs on Hold On, which allowed each to bring his own personality to the mix. “Each of us has different styles so combining them gives us a unique sound,” said Michalak. “I get a lot of my inspiration from books and authors like Ernest Hemingway, Ronald Dahl, or Shel Silverstein…James and Stuart get their inspiration from music, science/math, and computer programming.”
Dolph Ramseur, head of Ramseur Records/Management, discovered Bombadil on the band’s MySpace page, caught their live show and signed them in 2006. He helped the group book tours and release records, including the Bombadil EP in 2006, A Buzz, A Buzz in 2008 and Tarpits and Canyonlands in 2009, the record that has often been referred to as “the album that should have made [Bombadil] famous.” Just prior to its release, Michalak was diagnosed with neural tension, and consequently Bombadil could not tour or promote the record. Bombadil took a hiatus, and after several years of therapy, Michalak was able to return. The band regrouped in North Carolina for 2013's Metrics of Affection, a release that again received great reviews: “It’s tough to be truly original while still creating catchy pop tunes, and this band manages to do just that…” “Bombadil exerts a natural magic for telling tall tales with a splendid tendency towards casual detail.”
After an 18 month period of intense touring and songwriting, Bombadil has crafted a record packed with unforgettable melodies, imaginative sonic landscapes, and irresistible harmonies, making Hold On an early highlight of 2015.