Tomberlin

At Weddings

Saddle Creek

Nov 13, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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There is no love more restless and anxiety inducing than a love that remains unconfirmed. Unreciprocated love is one thingyou know where you stand at leastwhatever pain that may bring, but to be constantly given contradictory impressions of how someone actually feels about you is a pain that can provoke ceaseless torment. On her haunting and epiphanic debut, At Weddings, Sarah Beth Tomberlin grapples with the existential dread of not knowing where validation may come from as she questions her relationship with God.

Several of the songs on the album begin with a faint, glimmering pulse from which her voice emerges to incant self-assurance and lament the endless search for belonging. The album is anecdotal and universal, both in the content of the songs and the use of the voice as the centerpiece of each track. Every track introduces a musical phrase that will be looped on repeat throughout the entirety of the track as layers of instrumentation and vocals accrete on top. The phrases never sound exactly like a perfectly cut loop though, and there remains an organically varying space between the notes. Tomberlin's use of one phrase to build the songs from is particularly powerful because of how it musically mirrors the process of introspection and the location of one memory or instance to probe for revealing insights. She chronicles her loss of faith with a bittersweet melancholy that finds self-awareness to be its own form of enlightenment. Like the ethereal light of the early morning, she rises. (www.tomberlinmusic.com)

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