Thombie is the acoustic merging of two best friends, a recipe that’s usually pretty tasty. This six-track long album is the folksy side project of Kid Mud’s Sean Duncan and his childhood friend Rick Dillwood. Though the title of the album exudes a slightly off-putting air, there is nothing in their sound to aggravate or cause headaches, in fact, as easy listening goes, this could be among the easiest - the entire album is available to play for free on their website.
Soothing melodies, acoustic guitar and boyhood-esque harmonizing makes for a light and breezy joy ride through this album, with occasional electronic textures to add variety. The first song begins with a pleasing hook and spot-on harmonizing, letting the listener in on the anticipation of “Janie’s coming home.” The end of the song incorporates slow clapping and layered vocals to flesh out the dreamlike setting of “the competition’s napping while the people cheer.” It’s a perfect song to accompany some nice, lazy daydreaming under a friendly Maple tree.
“Tornado” delves a little deeper into sorrow, juxtaposing fantasy-like imagery, “I’ll play the hero, you’ll play the girl” with a bitter imprint of reality. Next, “Climb Halfway” employs vivid imagery and longing vocals to describe a scene that begins with, “He was built to move mountains that reach to the sky/from the top of which he could watch everything pass him by/so he tried…” The lyrics tell a story that is worth listening to closely, though the vocals are subdued in favor of poignant strumming and elongated electric wailing. “Sunsets Pt. 2” transitions from acoustic folk halfway through into an abyss-like electric arena of sound you can easily get lost in. By the time you reach the last two songs, you’re probably already relaxed and ready for a vivid nap, but the end of “Private Jet to Vegas” concludes with a commanding refrain of “Let’s make today our home” followed by subtle humming, drumming and strumming. The album wraps everything up with a sort of pleasant sensation of being encircled.
This acoustic duo is just experimental enough to complement more traditional folk elements with a bit of electronic emphasis, while retaining the success factor of pining vocals and a general sense of content nostalgia, visualized by frequent images of small-town memories. Rainy days or feathery afternoons would make a perfect backdrop for this album, and fans of indie folk will love the smooth sound of this partnership. Relax into a comfy chair with a good book and melt into the gently swaying sea of Thombie’s “Get Out Of My Life,” a rather aggressive title for a comforting and melodic debut.