‘Enderness’ is the first album from AA Bondy in eight years, a ten track LP on Fat Possum. It’s a record of largely stripped bare pop songs, the recording completed a day before his home was burnt down in a wildfire. He spent the time of recording alone, and the records simple and unaccompanied motifs speak to this solitude, but there’s a beauty to this private world.
Vinyl LP £18.49 FP17011
LP on Fat Possum.
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CD £11.49 FP17012
CD on Fat Possum.
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I don’t know what to make of Enderness by AA Bondy. I don’t know what to make of it because the day after he completed the album his house (and de facto studio) burnt down. How is it possible for that not to colour your view of a record? Should it even?
This was no doubt a tragedy, losing the place you call home, and all the things inside of it, is surely a traumatic experience. And maybe if the songs here had been upbeat it wouldn’t be a problem. But they’re not. They sound like songs you’d record after your house burns down.
It's a funny thing narrative. Our brains desire these sorts of connections. Bondy sounds alone and afraid here. Singing with a dour voice with a light amount of reverb. The music is sparse and barely there, but the emotions are incredibly palpable. Even the synthesisers seem to be sighing, unable to bear the incredibly weight of... something that hadn’t happened yet.
So maybe it’s better to talk about Bondy’s thoughtful strumming, or the simple and effective drum machine, or how powerful the light multi-tracking on Bondy’s voice is? How, despite everything else, this is quite catchy music? But no matter how hard I try, I can’t separate Enderness from the fire, and I expect Bondy won’t be able to either. It’s impossible to remove an album from its contexts and that’s okay. Because it means an album can be more than just that.
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