BOBBY is not a band eager to be deciphered. Formed in Bennington College from a wide collective of talent, the band exhibits a formidable palate of sound and an untouched knowledge and passion for global influences. The band puts on a curiously distinct blend of experimentalism and pop, sometimes murky psych-folk, other times verging on guitar-driven ambience. It’s hard to get a complete grasp on BOBBY, and that drives the spirit and intrigue of the band’s music.
There’s a lot of movement in BOBBY’s songs, but not a lot of muscle; they float along like a perpetual motion machine, lighter than air but packed tightly with elements and effects. Songs and interludes switch almost track-by-track; the whispery art-folk of “We Saw” and “It’s Dead Outside” is quickly replaced with inwards-pointing instrumental smudges like “Loading Phase.” It can sound like the colors of the songs run together in the ambient passages – like a messy, but warm swirl – before regrouping into something more concrete on the next track. The record’s general aesthetic stays the same, docile sounds, pitter-patter polyrhythms, and shimmering vocals, but the ear-tickling mutations along the way is the appeal.
As such the continuing success of the album is the delectably difficult quest to find the inspiration behind the music. BOBBY connect easily with other modern-day innovators, from tUnE-yArDs, to Wild Beasts, and even to Julian Lynch at their most warped moments – but beyond their contemporaries they feel strikingly fresh. The record plays start to finish in a seamless, obsessed-over glaze. It might not have the forceful identity of a classic, but when considering its basic material, there’s very little to criticize. That’s always a good way to start a career.