Original Release / Fat Possum / FP1253 / CD / MP3 / 320
The album was recorded with Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith, Kevin Devine) and features guest musicians Ben Lester and Macey Taylor.
For years, Scott Bondy was known — if at all — as the lead singer of Verbena, a highly capable but largely forgotten entrant in the post-Nirvana sweepstakes. But, years after that band had run its course, he's found a way to reinvent himself for the age of iTunes alphabetization, as A.A. Bondy. (Take that, A.C. Newman!) In the past few years, Bondy has recast himself credibly as a moody, blues-infused rambler who's always haunted and hounded by demons of one sort or another.
1. The Heart Is Willing
2. Down In The Fire (Lost Sea)
3. Skull & Bones
4. 123 Dupuy Street
5. Surfer King
8. The Twist
9. Route 28/Believers
10. Scenes From A Circus
Even after that shift in persona, Bondy has evolved admirably, letting his stark folk build and bloom into something richer and more languid. The two fine albums that launched his solo career, American Hearts and When the Devil's Loose, are largely barren and bitter, if frequently beautiful. But the new Believers sounds more fleshed-out: Less nakedly fatalistic than its predecessors, it also finds Bondy reasserting himself as a bandleader. This isn't singer-songwriter fare, but rather a full band in fine form, crafting evocative songs with a fully realized sense of place to them.