– January 13, 2023 – The Bombadils, comprised of folk darlings Luke Fraser and Sarah Frank, are known for creating music with poetic lyrics, fresh metaphors, scene-setting details, and clever turns of phrase. Their new album Dear Friend, out today, is no exception; the album is a series of love letters of a certain kind—to family and friends, to
– January 13, 2023 – The Bombadils, comprised of folk darlings Luke Fraser and Sarah Frank, are known for creating music with poetic lyrics, fresh metaphors, scene-setting details, and clever turns of phrase. Their new album Dear Friend, out today, is no exception; the album is a series of love letters of a certain kind—to family and friends, to strangers and neighbors, to cities and landscapes, to each other.
“...a tender and quietly beguiling affirmation of love, friendship and human contact across the years and the miles."
- Folk Radio UK
Dear Friend is the duo’s fourth album overall, and their first to feature all original songs, as well as their first full-length release after moving to Atlantic Canada and adjusting to new parenthood, a new city, and a global pandemic. The 11-song album was recorded with engineer Graeme Campbell between lockdowns and daycare pick-ups. The album features accompaniment and co-writing from a number of Atlantic Canadian favourites, including jazz bassist Patrick Reid, harpist Ellen Gibling, and songwriters Terra Spencer and Dave Gunning. The band's penchant for bluegrass is satisfied with guest appearances from Nashville's Ethan Jodziewicz (Milk Carton Kids, Sierra Hull) on bass, Kaitlyn Raitz on cello, and fiddler Ben Plotnick (The Fretless).
Throughout the album, the duo finds the threads of light that weave throughout – many of their songs offer bittersweet but hopeful narratives, combining poetic lyrics, fresh metaphors, scene-setting details, and clever turns of phrase. Stylistically, The Bombadils’ music offers dynamic arrangements and adventurous instrumental passages; Frank’s soprano and dazzling fiddle playing combine with Fraser’s soulful singing and prowess as an accompanist and dynamic soloist on guitar and mandolin. “Losing Track of Time" celebrates connection and cherishing the sweet moments in life where the stars align, " while “Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming,” is about holding onto beauty in the small things, finding rest in it, wondering where it comes from, and hoping it's not all a dream.
"...they end up making some of the prettiest music you’ll likely hear this year."
- Americana Highways
The Bombadils formed in 2009 as McGill University music students after meeting at a party, deciding on a band name inspired by the character Tom Bombadil from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings epic. In its early days, they made a name for themselves in the pub scene, performing from an expansive repertoire of time-honored folk, fiddle tunes, and old-time standards. The duo has previously released three albums; Canadian arts journalist Bob Mersereau describes their music as "folk tunes done with musical adventure and sophistication" and Elmore Magazine describes their music as "an enchanting folk romp." The Bombadils’ third album, 2016’s, New Shoes, was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards and won Folk Music Ontario's “Album of the Year.”
“…picturesque songwriting and instrumentation."
“This is our first album where we took our time instead of rushing. It’s more stylistically consistent, it’s dynamic, and it feels like the first album to call our own,” the duo says. “We wanted to uncover who we are as songwriters and find themes that matter to us. There turns out to be this theme of listening, of noticing where we see beauty and light — in people, in places, in nature. So maybe the overall idea is of discovery, of patiently letting things unfold.”