I’m not sure anyone does deep melancholy quite as well as Tomberlin. Released today, her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this… was structured around the need to “examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings”, and while not exactly a departure from her 2018 album – and one of my all-time favourites – At Weddings, there’s definitely been a progression: a sense of expanding boundaries; of actually being able to see the horizon in comparison to the lo-fi ultra-intimacy of her debut. easy is the album opener, and manages to be haunting, inviting, despondent and peaceful all at once.
Tomberlin’s 2018 debut album At Weddings is without doubt one of my favourite of the last few years, and one I go back to on a pretty much weekly basis. It’s stripped down, fairly mournful folk: utterly beautiful and almost unbearably sad in parts. By contrast, her latest single is positively upbeat, at least in its buoyant rhythm and big, open melodies. But lyrically there’s still that same sense of melancholy that makes her work so personal and unique: “I try to write it out / Make sure nothing sounds weird / Make sure it’s not half bad / Do you think this songs sad?” The answer? Yes, a little, and I’m very much looking forward to the new EP Projections which is due out 16 October via Saddle Creek.