Tomberlin re-releasing debut on Saddle Creek, shares “Self-Help” video
Jacksonville, FL-born, Louisville, KY-based singer/songwriter Sarah Beth Tomberlin makes music under her last name, Tomberlin, and she signed to the trusty Saddle Creek, who will give a wider and expanded release to her debut album At Weddings on August 10. (It initially came out as a limited release on Joyful Noise Recordings last year, with three less tracks.) Now in her early twenties, she's been writing the album since her teens there are and demos of a couple songs ("Any Other Way" and "Tornado") on her Soundcloud dating back two or three years, along with a cover of Perfume Genius' "Learning" and more. Today she released the album's first proper single, "Self-Help."
Sarah Beth told Stereogum that she grew up in a very religious household, daughter of a Baptist pastor, and that she wasn't allowed to listen to secular music, so she had to hide her Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional CDs from her parents. According to her bio, she dropped out of the private Christian school she was going to at 17 and "found herself questioning not only her faith, but her identity, her purpose, and her place in the world," and it was at that point when she began writing At Weddings.
As you might guess from someone who grew up on Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional and released a Perfume Genius cover, these are quiet, personal songs, and Sarah Beth already sounds about as promising as those artists did early on in their careers. (She has also gotten more than one comparison to Julien Baker, a more modern torch-carrier of this sound and one who also arrived fully formed on her debut album.) Her lyrics are full of depth and detail, her voice is airy but strong, and she knows her way around a melody. And going by "Self-Help," the production on At Weddings is just as interesting as the songwriting. Her songs are delicate and melodic, but there's a noisy atmosphere to the recordings, kind of somewhere between Grouper and The Microphones. It's real promising stuff, as you can hear for yourself below.
1. Any Other Way
2. Untitled 1
4. You Are Here
5. A Video Game
6. I'm Not Scared
9. Untitled 2