When I first came across Bobby my focus was immediately taken to the album art. This pastel colored image caught me off guard and intrigued me all at once. I am fanatic for album information. You know, the information you’d normally find inside the album sleeve? That’s the paper thing that held the record or the little book inside jewel CD case for those who have forgotten or are too young to remember non-digital music. Sitting down reading the story of how the album was made, where it was made, and seeing how many people had a hand in making this magic was invigorating!
Bobby’s aptly named self titled album was not a let down for information junkies such as myself. The story of Bobby is a very unique one; weaving a tale of a reclusive leading man who vanished, prompting the rest of the band to set out in search of him. This group of six came together to compile a dream-like ambient noise infused folk album that walks the fine line between hearty folk lyrics and synthesized instrumentals.
Opening with the over seven minute “We Saw” strummed out on acoustic guitar while vocals dance in the background Bobby cleverly avoids feeling strenuous and redundant. Playing out over the next 12 tracks you are treated to a brilliant dynamic between the dark ambiance and the harmonious hymns mastered by the remaining five. Adding to the magic of art, Bobby includes backing vocals of the beautifully talented Molly Sarle of Mountain Man. These ingredients form a richly masterful album that will prompt you to close your eyes and experience it rather than just listen.
As the album progressed I was taken aback by the melodic contrast with, the sure to be a hit, “Sore Spores.” A track of this caliber is historically reserved for a sophomore release. This was only the beginning. The pace is laid out perfectly between each song which vary in length from 53 seconds to several well over 6 minutes. Even as the album began to descend into a more ambient, less vocal style it is apparent that nothing here is unintentional or without purpose.
From the soft dreamy vocals to the heavy down stroke of the emotionally charged acoustic guitar Bobby has found a solid beginning that can only build into something much more. As I find myself sitting here staring at the album artwork and reading the bio, I realize this is a very impressive first album that will pique your interest from the first moment and your imagination for the next 12 tracks only solidifying the old adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover” because it only adds to the story you’re about to embark on.