Believers is the third album from A.A Bondy who originally hails from Birmingham Alabama but now calls upstate New York, that bastion of independent creativity home. Like most independent acts I've come to A A Bondy's music in the middle of the piece so I had no advanced expectations when I bought this record, I can't even recall a particular song that took my fancy.
What I like about this album is its ambiguous tone, everyone wants to fix a label and so it maybe, but it's great when an album comes along that defies any attempt at a lasting categorisation. Some have called this alt folk and it has a richness and soft denseness that seems to be a key ingredient of that genre but that would sell this album far too short. Down in the Fire has that dreamy soundscape like a mist rolling through the woods, Skull and Bones is darker acoustic and threadbare. A good album should resist the temptation for safe ground and so Believers takes a more soulful turn with Surfer King making one think of waves gently lapping at the shore.
DRMZ is sparse with some beautiful haunting vocals, lo fi drums and wispy touches of organ offset by floating guitar chords it sounds so old but is completely new, it has a vocal sound that sounds like it's from the early 60's with backing that would have Paul Simon wishing he could go back in time and take the song for his own. Darkness is just around the corner the setting is one of change, the vocals become more intense the sound is full once again it's so hard to pin down a comparison, where DRMZ could have been written by Paul Simon, the Twist to me has no discernible link to the past. Maybe that is what makes a good album, the sense that you are entering unchartered waters.