The transition from post-grunge rocker to indie-folk troubadour might seem like a bizarre shift, but Auguste Arthur Bondy has pulled it better than you’d think. It’s difficult to say whether fans of his previous outfit, Verbena, were eager to jump on the bandwagon, but those who did found themselves with one of the 2000’s most underrated folk albums – the stunning American Hearts.
Tracks like “Black Rain, Black Rain” sport an aching beauty vividly personal to Bondy, but it’s distinctly intrinsic to the listener, too. It’s an ode to sadness that pierces both author and audience. Digging in deep, Bondy goes for the emotional kill more often than not. That’s never changed from album to album, though his stylistic tendencies have.
2011’s Believers may have ditched acoustic guitars for electrics, but Bondy stayed the same. His music, regardless of shade and style, is always poignant, always clever and deserves your attention. Whether it’s the brief, acoustic stomp of “Vice Rag” or the militaristic, dirge-like march of “The Heart is Willing,” A. A. Bondy is an artist to keep an eye on.