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Anthony Carew

Introducing: Bobby

By May 23, 2011

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Name: Bobby
From: Bennington, Vermont
Story: Not some guy named Bobby
Sound: Loosely-knitted, warm-hearted, psychedelic dream-pop

Bobby, as band name, brings back bad memories of the landfill-indie blandeur of the '90s, when groups of people were so uninspired that they ended up calling themselves things like Travis. But Bobby, as band name, isn't about a lack of ideas, in this case. Instead, it's the front for a self-penned mythology, involving an apocryphal tale of a wayward founding-member —who has never played with the band, been at a show, or, likely, actually existed— whose spirit lingers over the project.

Thus far, Bobby are keeping good to their conceptual jones by going without a promo shot. And biographical information is, thus far, unreliable. That speaks of the nature of the project: Bobby is less taut rock-band, more loose collective; a broken social scene of Bennington College pals. There's eight of them, their leader is a chap named Tom Greenberg, but the more notable members are Molly Sarle and Amelia Randall Meath of Mountain Man.

Meath is part of the touring Bobby band —which rolls at a taut six members— but it's Sarle whose voice shines out. Her counterpoint vocals on the giddy, almost Dirty Projectorsy "Sore Spores" are brilliant: bright and sweet and slightly snarling. On "Ginger (Water Birth)" the contribute to the giddy, eddying sonic swirl with layers of ooos, before rising out of the waves with a simple, repeated mantra "something's in the water/I think it might be ours." And "Dustbeam" is a tender duet in which Greenberg and Sarle sing out in tightly-woven harmonies as the song stretches out, long and languorous and ambient.

Though "Sore Spores" —the first song the band ever released— perhaps promised something more pop-oriented, Bobby are a band blissed-out, retreating into layers of dewy, droney guitar and fluttering modular synths. Their self-titled debut LP —due out late June on Partisan records— is full of loosely-knitted, warm-hearted songs that routinely roll out to six minutes, and the band are at their best at their dreamiest, when they close their eyes and get lost in 'the vibe.'

Bobby, apparently, would've wanted it that way. Run Bobby Run:
June 2: Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
June 3: Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
June 5: Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
June 7: Cambridge, MA - TT The Bear's Place
June 9: Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
June 10: Washington, DC - Black Cat
June 11: Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
June 12: Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
June 13: Atlanta, GA - The Earl
June 14: Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
June 15: St Louis, MO - Off Broadway
June 16: Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
June 18: Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
June 19: Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
June 20: Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
June 21: San Diego, CA - Casbah
June 22: Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
June 23: San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall

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