album: At Weddings - Tomberlin
The beautiful thing about finding a piece of music that resonates with you, is that discovery, no matter when it occurs, doesn’t have to fall within the time frame of a release cycle. Tomberlin’s devastatingly gorgeous album At Weddings came out previously, but it’s only recently that I started digging in, and in the process of listening, I’ve become completely enamored with the album.
At Weddings is quiet in composure and presentation, with vocalist Sarah Beth Tomberlin keeping her presence at levels more akin to a whisper or a casual, intimate conversation. The intentional quiet packs a more powerful emotional connection than a pronounced, shouted presence ever could, especially when comparing one’s self to a “Tornado” or contemplating the purpose of love (“Seventeen”). At Weddings is the most precious secret you’ve ever heard, with the subdued strings, brushes of keys, and Tomberlin’s emotionally-charged soprano coming across as a delicate whirlwind of once confidential thoughts.
The record is a beautiful journey, and that includes the moments that have you taking a careful saunter through prickles of guitar and unexpected vocal breakaways (“You Are Here”) and later leave you floating through a graceful, moving piano ballad of “I’m Not Scared,” which examines religion and the spirit (“But funny thing is that I always hated church/Spend so much time looking that I forgot to search/And to be a woman is to be in pain/And my body reminds me almost every day”).
Each Friday brings a batch of new albums, and each day leads to another cycle of fresh bands, emails, and social media updates. It’s easy to get caught up in that feeling of being constantly connected and to never truly sit with a piece of music; to give yourself to someone’s work and let it move you. At Weddings is a reminder to truly participate in the listening experience, because when you give in completely, you’ll find an entire world of someone else’s to discover.