Tomberlin – Projections EP

Bittersweet, expansive folk that faces heartache with a smile.
Label: Saddle Creek
Released: 16th October 2020
Rating: ★★★★

Sarah Beth Tomberlin’s music thus far has been hushed and intimate, as though performed in a self-imposed solitary, weary of the outside world. On ‘Projections’, she’s thrown the curtains open and is basking in the light; expanded arrangements breathe new life into her sound, so even the most sorrowful moments seem sanguine.

Lead single ‘Wasted’ is short but sweet, hypnotic with its singular melody and playfully repetitive lyrics – it’s a track you can’t just listen to once, already stuck in your head before the first spin is finished. Steady percussion drives the track forward as she revels in the giddy excitement of infatuation, chase and all. ‘Hours’ blooms and wilts, while ‘Sin’ fills every inch of space, brimming with lush string sections and ethereal harmonies.

As the sun begins to set with her cover of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s ‘Natural Light’, Tomberlin reverts to a sparser soundscape. There’s a fog that hangs around her, but her voice cuts through clearly; her newfound warmth has yet to fade. She’s found beauty in the transient and can fondly reminisce. By piecing these memories together, Tomberlin has crafted a concise offering of bittersweet, expansive folk that faces heartache with a smile.

Jay Singh

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