Album of the Week: Tomberlin | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Album of the Week: Tomberlin

At Weddings Out Now via Saddle Creek

Aug 10, 2018 Album of the Week
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Tomberlin is the project of Sarah Beth Tomberlin. Her debut album, At Weddings, came out today via Saddle Creek. While we are not doing a full-on Album of the Week post on it, we wanted to acknowledge it as this week’s Album of the Week.

Also read our My Firsts interview with Tomberlin that we posted today.

Previously Tomberlin shared a video for its first single, “Self-Help” (which was one of our Songs of the Week), as well as a video for “Seventeen” and the audio for haunting folk ballad “I’m Not Scared” (which was also one of our Songs of the Week). Then she shared another song from the album, “Any Other Way,” via a vintage looking video directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick.

Tomberlin was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but is now based in Louisville, Kentucky. She grew up in a very religious household, the daughter of a Baptist pastor, and was homeschooled until the age of 16, after which she went to college at a private Christian school she only half-jokingly describes in a press release as a “cult.” At 17 she dropped out of school, returned home, and started to question her faith and her place in the world. It was around this time she began writing the songs that would end up on At Weddings.

“I was working, going to school, and experiencing heavy isolation,” Tomberlin says of the period in a press release. “It felt monotonous, like endless nothingness. It was a means to get through to the next step of life.”

By the time she was 20 she had written enough songs for an album. The press release says At Weddings “documents the unlearning of her childhood faith” but was still heavily influenced by church music and hymns.

As Tomberlin explains in the press release: “A lot of hymns talk about really crazy stuff - being saved from the depths and the mire, judgment. When you actually realize what you’re singing, it becomes really overwhelming. I grew up singing in church. I was still helping to lead worship when I started coming to terms with the realization that I didn’t know if I believed. I felt nauseous and shaky reading these words I was singing and feeling their intensity. If I did believe this, how could I sing these words without being scared out of my mind? That’s what’s influenced how I write.”

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