Durham, North Carolina outfit Bombadil have a compelling backstory, which you can find out at this NPR link from last month.
With a name drawn from a character in Tolkien lore and Lord of the Rings, one might expect some nerd-rock to geek out to from Bombadil. On their latest, there is a higher than usual level of pretentiousness, but it’s in service of some creative musicality, making the band a link of sorts between brainy jam-rock (think some of the weirder stuff from Phish) and cerebral indie fare, with some European folk influences thrown in.
They are able to poke a little fun at themselves and others, as in “Boring Country Song”, which is really neither boring nor country, and “When We Are Both Cats,” which ups the twang factor without losing interest.
The band tends more toward sea chanteys and the classic folk sounds of the British Isles and the seafaring northwest on this album, both overtly on “Whaling Vessel” and more tongue-in-cheek on “Isn’t It Funny.”
Overall, this is mellow stuff tailor-made for fans of the Decemberists or Avett Brothers, with enough traditional tendencies to make it intriguing for the folk-rock scene.