Beth Bombara is an American singer, songwriter and musician who was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan but now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. She was part of Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers band before going solo. Her new, long player `It All Goes Up` is released this month and follows on from her last album, 2019`s `Evergreen`.
The album begins with `Moments` which is a fairly gentle opening with pedal steel, strummed guitar, and gently brushed drums. A really dreamy slice of Americana with lyrics that are fairly reflective and remind us to live in the present. We have an even balance of instrumental segments and lyrics on `Lonely Walls` an introspective musing on wanting or yearning to be with that special someone in your life. It`s a quietly shared meditative piece revealing the narrators’ intimate thoughts.
`Everything I Wanted` is an upbeat poppier outing, and a song that`s made for Summer days and nights. We have a further contemplative submission with `Get On` which has that sense of `carpe diem` about it and encourages us to seize the day and not put off to tomorrow, what we could do today.
A ballad like composition follows with `Carry The Weight` which relates to being supportive to a loved one when they seem to be out of sync with life. I thought `Curious And Free` was pretty philosophical as it reflected on how things haven`t much altered since adolescent times when life appeared to have much to offer, apart from time moving on. The addition of a string arrangement added a further sense of poignancy to this track.
`Give Me A Reason` has an edgier feel where the music kind of mirrors the unease that seems to be increasing within the narrator as to the stability of their relationship as they look for some kind of tangible commitment .There`s a sense of heartbreak on `Electricity` where the raconteur realises and accepts their, at times destructive behaviour in this tense but electrifying relationship. We have some instrumental interludes that add an additional sense of pensiveness.
`What You Wanna Hear` is a light easy listening number although it`s lyrical content seems at odds as it appears to reveal somebody who relays what their partner wants to hear while hoping but isn`t sure if there`s a long-term future. The album closes out with `Fade` a tender number that seems to confirm how a partner has become your anchor when life gets complicated. A tinkling piano and drum pulse that sounds like a heartbeat adds an additional perception of longing and desire.
Beth has shared that `It All Goes Up` explores more hopeful themes as an antidote to challenging times and there`s plenty of emotion and reflection sprinkled throughout. The album came together with help of her husband Kit Hamon (bass guitar, vocals, synth, percussion), along with Mike Schurk (drums), Samuel Gregg (pedal steel), and Sam Golden (strings, electric guitar, mellotron). John Calvin Abney, Karl Kling and Eric Henry added their nuances as well.
`It All Goes Up` was an interesting introduction for me to Beth Bombara and has whetted my appetite to check out her back catalogue. If you`re also unfamiliar with this artist, this album may well be your way in, as well.
Rating 8 / 10