EP: Tomberlin – Projections review

By Tobias Moore

Through spirals of harmonic allure, Tomberlin creates a realm of celestial safety for you to contemplate and learn from the actions of your past

Grieving, laughing, reflecting. Regardless of occasion, it is towards music that many turn for escapism. Be it the cognitive finger pickings of guitar, or simply providing a space to breathe, there is no denying that humanity’s relationship with melody is innate.

It’s this capturing of moment, of time stood still, that Tomberlin provides with such aplomb. A lived-in presence, each one of her songs, be it through leaf-like percussive crunches or the ethereal guitar formations that drift carelessly from track to track, feels fundamentally at one with the ground beneath our feet. Bridging the gap between the natural world and humanity, latest EP, Projections, delivers a perspective on past woes with an unsettling composure.

Yet despite clear synchrony with nature, there is no shying away from the distinctive humane presence that wanders freely from song to song. Be it the country glazed paths of Sin, to the high school angst built within the jitters of Floor, her instrumentation is meditative. Almost therapeutic at points, it’s the EP’s ambient subtleties and their grasp on the passing of time that allows for one to reminisce, reflect, all at your own pace.

Emerging from this tranquility can be hard, however, so it’s convenient that final track Natural Light (a Casiotone For The Painfully Alone cover) acts as a perfect reawakening for those lost in a state of Tomberlin induced trance. Haunting in aura, the piece feels a fitting farewell, not only to the EP, but as we begin our transition into winter it feels a righteous listen when bidding adieu to Autumn. As breath begins to condensate in front of our very eyes, and what remains of summer light surrenders its throne to shadow, Tomberlin leaves you accepting of the eventuality that is seasonal change.

Like it or not, there’s an understated sense of liberation within the latest works of Tomberlin that is frankly empowering. At one with, or at least aware of past regrets, within Projections, the Saddle Creek signed artist balances vulnerability with an often overlooked, and subtle nostalgic romanticism to create something as tender as it is assertive. She finds hope amongst chaos, light amongst darkness and sanctuary within music.

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