Release Date: May 10, 2019
Record label: Fat Possum Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
That all changed with 2011's Believers. Enveloped in a hypnotic sense of gloomy foreboding and dense layers of magnetic murkiness, the superb, soulful album - with songs transmitted from the bleary-eyed zone where the clarity of being fully awake crashes into (bad) dreamland - proved just how much potential the hoary old guitar-bass-drums set-up still carried. Eight years later, the Alabama-born Bondy returns with his fourth album.
Anti-war activist, author and former professor at the University of California Berkely, Maxine Hong Kingston once said, "In a time of destruction, create something." Though creation came before the destruction for singer-songwriter Augustine Arthur Bondy, aka Scott Body, aka (and presently known as) A.A. Bondy, his comeback record Enderness is has taken on new life, serving as a therapeutic balm after his home was consumed in flames right after finishing his album. Standing above the carnage of what once was, Bondy's reemergence is imbued with eerie context, which breathes poignant life into a record that would have felt weightless otherwise.
Auguste Arthur Bondy has never been one for the modern world. He once described his time in the alternative rock band Verbena as like being "an infant in a crib full of bats." After that band folded, his solo records eschewed the glossy electronics and rousing crescendos popular in the late 2000s. Instead, he wrote unfashionable, blues-steeped country.
Alex Lahey's debut 'I Love You Like A Brother' was jam-packed with hooks, wit and charm, a standout first effort from the Melbourne songwriter. Follow-up 'The Best Of Luck Club' largely treads the same path; choruses burst out with exuberance, vocals are delivered with knowing winks, and, in particular on self-care anthem 'Don't Be So Hard On Yourself', it's largely a sensitive, caring listen. However, while 'I Love You Like A Brother' was littered with memorable choruses that would be lodged in your brain after one listen, it takes a good while of digging into 'The Best Of Luck Club' to find something that sticks.