July’s Local Artist of the Month: Bombadil
Bombadil are an eclectic chamber folk band out of Durham, North Carolina. Their name is derived from the J.R.R. Tolkien character Tom Bombadil from the Lord of the Rings. Tom Bombadil is a witty, peculiar character who speaks and sings in playful rhymes. The name “Bombadil” encompasses the quartet perfectly as they deliver their sophisticated pop feel of a bygone era in their eccentric suits.
In 2002, Stuart Robinson (piano) and Daniel Michalak (bass) met on an orientation trip for Duke University. The two began making music together. In 2004, Daniel met fellow Duke student Bryan Rahija (guitar) while studying abroad in Bolivia. They returned to the U.S. with a few demos as well as some of the local flare that still shines through their signature sound. Daniel, Stuart, and Bryan enlisted Daniel’s brother John on the drums and the quartet soon began making music together under the moniker Bombadil.
The head of Ramseur Records stumbled upon a few demos and immediately signed them. In 2006, they released a self-titled EP. In 2007, John left the band. One Craigslist ad later, they had found James Phillips to man the drum kit. With the new band assembled they completed and released their first full-length album A Buzz, A Buzz in 2008. The album as well as their energetic live shows found them receiving more and more attention. They found themselves touring all across the U.S. and playing festivals such as Bonnaroo and Floydfest. Now with recognition as well as some mileage as a band, they hit the studio again to record Tarpits and Canyonlands. By the time the album was released, the band had fallen into limbo. They declared themselves in a state of hiatus as Stuart had left the band and Daniel was suffering from nerve damage in his hands.
In November of 2010, the quartet reconvened at Pendavavis Farm near Portland, OR (where the Decemberists recorded The King Is Dead) for an intense, ambitious 10 day recording session that would become All That Rain Promises. After more than a year off, Bombadil had come back from the brink. The album was officially released in 2011. 2012 saw the return of Bombadil as they began regaining the momentum that they had. They also began test driving songs for their newest effort Metrics of Affection due out July 23rd. Although Bryan has stopped touring with the band to finish grad school, the other three have hit the road hard this year in support of their upcoming album.
After overcoming every possible obstacle, Bombadil is back and better than ever before. They are hitting the road with a new ferocity and cohesiveness. They are four incredibly talented musicians who continuously write music and hone their skills. There are not too many bands these days with 4 vocalists, 4 songwriters, and a producer. If their recent shows are any indication, Metrics of Affection is bound to be their best album to date. Check out the album cover and tracklisting below.
Bombadil will also be playing having a Metrics of Affection album release show at Lincoln Theatre on July 27th at 9pm. They are sure to have some special surprises in store. If you missed the Local Artist of the Month interview with Bombadil in which we talked about the new album and debuted quite a few new songs, you can listen to it below or you can subscribe to our iTunes podcast.