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BONOMO, a folk duo from Brooklyn comprised of Adam Bonomo and Andrew Renfroe, immediately set themselves apart from the pack in both their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the genre and their earnest dedication. Like a painting by Vermeer, BONOMO builds reverential hymns to the peaceful ideal of the home interior; or more precisely, the chase of that ideal, as evident on the first track, “Home,” of their new record, Phases. While never as powerful as a gospel choir, Phases contains all the spirit and energy of one yet in a tone more reserved like one of their biggest influences, Nina Simone.
A light, sophisticated jazziness in the tradition of mannered acts like Steely Dan or The Style Council pervades much of the album as well on songs like “Water” and the sublime “Do Need.” However, for the most part Phases is a folk record injected with an dose of classic R&B, typified most acutely by the fantastic album closer “Baby’s Alright.” Singer Bonomo’s vocals have a timeless soulful quality; not designed to stun with prowess, but commune with an introspective intimacy rare today. Released this February, Phases proves that BONOMO are quickly becoming one of the more original and compelling acts coming out of Brooklyn.
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