Album Reviews

The Bombadils

New Shoes

Artist:     The Bombadils

Album:     New Shoes

Label:     Borealis Records

Release Date:     09/09/16

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Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser started out as fellow students training classically at university, then became friends once they realized their common love for folk music, and have since married each other and their musical talents, performing as folk duo, The Bombadils. The Canadian-based group pair classic folk tunes with their own creative interpretations on their latest record, New Shoes, released just a few months ago. The 12-track album covers all kinds of folk and cultures, from romantic French songs to traditional Scottish songs to Irish jigs adapted from poetry and even more in between.

New Shoes opens with an original Bombadils track, “The Fountain,” immediately introducing Sarah’s airy voice and expert instrumental arrangements that soar high. Another example of the group’s engaging rhythms can be heard on instrumental track, “Squirrels Rule The Day, Raccoons Rule The Night,” which flirts, jumps, and howls with the quick beats of banjo, cello, and fiddle all coming together to create an enchanting folk romp. Later, the duo’s cover of Doc Watson’s “Lone Journey” is a gorgeous rendition full of harmony and deep strings that build a vivid, startling middle section. Similarly, their take on “Wild Mountain Thyme,” a traditional Scottish tune, is laden with four-part harmony and sweet, subtle rhythms, while New Shoe‘s last track, “Mint Condition,” holds an air of nostalgia, slower in the vocals but efficient in their versatility. The album ends with the track’s hopeful promise, “I may have to learn to live here alone / But I’ll love you through ash or through stone,” culminating lyrics that sum up the perfect blend and unity of The Bombadils’ love for each other and the music they create with each other.

-Savannah Davanzo

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