Ohio darlings, The Sonder Bombs are set to release their sophomore LP, Clothbound, on January 29, 2021 via Take This To Heart Records/Big Scary Monsters/Dew Process. Riding the wake of the band’s debut ukulele punk album, Modern Female Rockstar, The Sonder Bombs explode right out of the gate and showcase just how much they have grown with their twinkly indie pop sound.
What strikes me as most impressive is this band’s ability to seamlessly flow between dark and moody ambiences into large enthusiastic and anthemic choruses throughout the effort. This ebb and flow of energy within each track will continue to follow a similar pattern as we progress through the rest of the album. The first track, “Papillon” demonstrates exactly that: the rollercoaster ups and downs we’ll continue to hear in the upcoming tracks. All this work is done just before swelling into a ukulele-driven crescendo as the song comes to an end.
There is a shift in mood from the outro as we flow into the groovy riffs and mellow doo-wop vibes of the infectious dreamy-pop song, “Crying is Cool.” The second released single from the album, “Crying Is Cool” is a great, catchy song that emphasizes the importance of making room to embrace the feeling of vulnerability and will undoubtedly be a ton of fun to hear live. Crashing in next, is “Vegas BABYYY!!!,” showing off really impressive vocals and a bridge that is catchy as hell. This song, along with a few others (read: “What Are Friends For?,” and the fierce, “k.,”) showcase some of that fiery, sarcastic Modern Female Rockstar punch that The Sondies are so known for.
“Scattered” emphasizes a soft, twinkly acoustic after the boasting bridge of “What Are Friends For?” and deliberately builds into its own rich sound with thundering drums and a smattering of cymbals as punctuation. This intentional slow burn is a shining example of The Sonder Bombs’ ability to show depth, even within a slower acoustic track. On the other end of that spectrum is the next song, “The Brink.” Bright hooks and spicy guitar leads are masterfully mixed with layered vocals to create an almost chanted anthem of a chorus. This one is *the* deep cut that fans, new and old, will absolutely adore.
“Swing On Sight” is another example of the growth from the band’s debut. Both this song and “Vegas BABYYY!!!,” present a great mix of vocal tracks and harmonies that establish an excellent depth in sound. Rounding the final curve here, we find a sonically vintage song, “The One About You.” Complete with old school vinyl crackles and impressive vocal control, this one is so dreamy and warm, and it really sets the stage for a unique tone.
“k.” comes in punchy and punky and The Sonder Bombs prove they are absolutely capable of knocking out a punk rock (and even a hint of hardcore) banger when they need to blow off some steam. Wrapping up the album, “Play It By Fear” touches on internal and external battles that come with the life of a musician (a Modern Female Rockstar, if you will) and really polishes off the sounds showcased in the album. Concluding the final song with a tiny taste of electronic drums and keys, perhaps we have a small preview of the direction in which The Sonder Bombs plan to go next.
But for now we have Clothbound, one outstanding album that showcases the depth of The Sonder Bombs’ growing talents and abilities, further solidifying their much-deserved space within the music scene.
Don’t miss Clothbound, available everywhere you stream music January 29, 2021.