Although their band-moniker tends to derive instances of conventionality—making them a relatively “un-Googleable” source—the band members of BOBBY fully embraces their common title through their music. Rather than place all emphasis on their moniker, BOBBY instead demonstrates their originality through the context of their group name and, of course, through their music. BOBBY is a distinctive project that pays its musical odes to “a fictional friend” of founding member Tom Greenburg, who according to an account would compose songs that his “imaginary friend” could dance to (this make-believe persona also happened to be a bad dancer).
What listeners can be sure of is that the musical talents of BOBBY are fundamentally sound. Originally hailed from Massachusetts, the group gravitates towards a range of whispery and delicate vocals that also manages to produce an ethereal and ghostly effect through their outlandish melodies in their debut self-titled release that will be available June 21.
Due to the group’s lush vocals embossed over with a layering of dreamy, trance-like instrumentals, BOBBY’s sound and stylistic choices conjure up visions of a procession moving through this world to the next. In this 12-track compilation, the dreamy other-worldly concept gets played out through the layering of harmonics, where multiple meters are superimposed one after another in order to produce an layered arrangement, so that if one were to listen carefully a variety of time signatures will become apparent on every track.
This avant garde approach, called polyrhythm, reflects BOBBY’s precise and nearly religious attempt to produce a multi-layered and extremely structured soundscape. BOBBY eerily conjures up the light and airy vocals of Icelandic singer Bjork in “Sore Spores,” and in “Loading Phase,” the track is able to evoke nuances of a haunted sanctuary, inhibited by something so deeply embedded into the landscape that it has surely become a part of the scenery. The ninth track to BOBBY is the most uplifting and upbeat on the release. Listless, while at the same time melodious, “Shimmychick” is able to hold up the same reverence for carefully formed harmonies and for the group’s amor for a structurally layered sound that is definitely evident throughout the compilation.
Seeped in rich detail that could only be reminiscent of the set metered verses found in Shakespearean literature, BOBBY’s conventional band-name, and, at first glance, simplicity are deceiving. Listeners, who are able to look pass the façade, will pick up on the fact that the tunes off this album are also accessible. It is an almost guaranteed thing that the tender harmonies, rich vocals, and varied instrumentals will transport listeners to other places and also other mindsets, making them fervent believers of these oftimes deeply moving and powerful blend of timeless harmonics.