A.A. Bondy: ENDERNESS
After being MIA for an eight-year span that left his entire fanbase wondering when—and if—he’d reappear, singer-songwriter A.A. Bondy materialized in early 2019 with a new look, a new sound and news of a new album. And it all pointed to Bondy doubling down on his longtime attitude: He doesn’t care about your expectations. Indeed, Bondy got his start in the underrated, ‘90s post-grunge act Verbena before reinventing himself a decade later as a purveyor of haunting murder-ballads and stripped-down, heart-wrenching folk. His trio of solo albums ended with 2011’s beautifully aching Believers , then he faded away. Bondy wrote, recorded and played everything himself on his return record, ENDERNESS . While fans are used to his songs sounding like solitude, ENDERNESS presents far darker, starker tunes wrapped in warbling, warped keyboards, splintered guitars and echoing, affected vocals that creep along. This isn’t rock music; it floats along like a dream that wakes you in a cold sweat. Nothing is rushed
here—sounds bubble up to the surface and melt away with David Lynch-level subdued tension. “Killers 3,” for example, finds Bondy chopping up his melody over a quivering organ: “Murder/ Is more entertaining/ Than peace/ Ever will be/ To a killer.” The chorus is Bondy’s stacked vocals: “Whoaoh-oh. Sha-la-la.” It’s a slow dance with death, gorgeous and horrifying in equal measure. “I’ll Never Know” is similarly disturbing, with Bondy lost in his mind, admitting, “I’ll never know/ Every shape you can take.” For an album of hushed revelations, these 10 songs are heavy as hell. ENDERNESS reveals itself slowly, and then it swallows you whole.