NEW YORK – January 21, 2022 – Making their home in the foggy port city of Halifax, Canada, The Bombadils are husband and wife duo Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser. Theirs is a story of two virtuosic instrumentalists – influenced by classical, jazz, bluegrass, and Celtic music, and inspired by various singer-songwriter traditions – who found each other and fell in love. Their new album Dear Friend (June 3), their fourth overall, is their first to feature all original songs. The first single, “Losing Track of Time,” is out today, celebrating connection and cherishing the sweet moments in life where the stars align.
Dear Friend is The Bombadils’ first full-length album release after moving to Atlantic Canada and adjusting to new parenthood, a new city, and a global pandemic. The album was recorded with engineer Graeme Campbell between lockdowns and daycare pick-ups. It is a series of love letters of a certain kind—to family and friends, to strangers and neighbors, to cities and landscapes, to each other.
It’s a fitting theme for the duo, finding the threads of light that weave throughout – many of their songs offer bittersweet but hopeful narratives, combining a sound that would be at home on any front porch with poetic lyrics, fresh metaphors, scene-setting details, and clever turns of phrase. Stylistically, their music offers dynamic arrangements and adventurous instrumental passages; Frank’s soprano and dazzling fiddle playing combine with Fraser’s soulful singing and prowess as an accompanist and dynamic soloist on guitar and mandolin.
The Bombadils formed in 2009 as McGill University music students after meeting at a party, deciding on a band name inspired by the character Tom Bombadil from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings epic. In its early days, they made a name for themselves in the pub scene, performing from an expansive repertoire of time-honored folk, fiddle tunes, and old-time standards. The duo has released three albums; Canadian arts journalist Bob Mersereau describes their music as “folk tunes done with musical adventure and sophistication” and Elmore Magazine describes their music as “an enchanting folk romp.” The Bombadils’ third album, 2016’s New Shoes, was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards and won Folk Music Ontario’s “Album of the Year.”
“This is our first album where we took our time instead of rushing. It’s more stylistically consistent, it’s dynamic, and it feels like the first album to call our own,” the duo says. “We wanted to uncover who we are as songwriters and find themes that matter to us. Turns out to be this theme of listening, of noticing where we see beauty and light — in people, in places, in nature. So maybe the initial idea is of discovery, of patiently letting things unfold.”