Album Reviews

Bombadil: Tarpits And Canyonlands [Album Review]


There are a lot of swirling sounds within Bombadil‘s Tarpits And Canyonlands. On one end it is minimalistic — stripped to its most basic components, “Sad Birthday” is piano and percussion with a slew of vocalists. But it’s not minimal, as even two instruments can create a sound all-encompassing. Add the collective of vocalists and precisely placed hand claps and the result is a sound much like that of Slaraffenland. But Bombadil cannot be limited to mere comparisons — the light instrumentation and experimental folk sounds they dabble in are truly their own.

As Tarpits And Canyonlands continues, the listener is left speechless. “Honeymoon” is astonishing in its ability to entrance the listener, and as it comes to a climactic end, “Reasons” begins with a soft, finger-plucked guitar and emotive harmony folk vocals. Once again: aghast at the power each song holds. The high points are many — “So Many Ways To Die”, “Oto The Bear”, “25 Daniels”, and, of course, all the aforementioned.

Bombadil has created an album that defies tradition. Tarpits And Canyonlands is archaic yet undoubtedly modern. There’s an ancient sound hiding within the vocals and the make-up of each song at the most rudimentary of levels. Yet Bombadil has deconstructed the folk genre and pieced together something that is definitely unique, adding a hint of pop, orchestration, and anthemic experimentation. This album is an absolute must-hear.

Bombadil recently visited Daytrotter. Click the link to hear and download that session…

Tarpits And Canyonlands by Bombadil

Ramseur Records [CD, 2009]

1. I Am
2. Sad Birthday
3. Honeymoon
4. Reasons
5. Cold Runway
6. Oto The Bear
7. Prologue
8. So Many Ways To Die
9. Marriage
10. Laurita
11. Kuala Lumpur
12. Pyramid
13. 25 Daniels
14. Matthew
15. Kate And Kelsey

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