P J.M. Bond earned his spurs with his band Dandelion, with whom he released several singles and EPs, and two full-length albums: "Everest" (2016) and "Laika, Belka, Strelka" (2019). In addition, Bond is an oft-asked session pianist for many Dutch bands, such as VanWyck, Judy Blank, and AlascA. In 2021 Bond released his debut solo EP titled "Sunset Blues” (via Concerto Records), which immediately received international attention. Americana UK called it "guitar and vocal folk perfection”, and country blog Holler insisted that "Bond has crafted an understated masterpiece”. In 2023, P.J.M. Bond is about to release his debut album: “In Our Time”, inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s eponymous short story collection, published in 1925. On this album, Bond shows off his chops as multi-instrumentalist, being responsible for not only the guitar and piano parts, but also flute, jew harp, blues harp, and organ. For the mastering of “Sunset Blues” and “In Our Time”, Bond collaborated with Ed Brooks, known for his work with Fleet Foxes, R.E.M. and Pearl Jam.
In addition to his partiality for the American West Coast music of the 1970s, Bond has a nearly unparalleled fascination with, and love for, American literature. In 2018 he obtained a Research MA at the University of Amsterdam, and he is a regular visitor of, and speaker at, the international biannual Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald conferences, which sees dozens of irrationally obsessed scholars and aficionados talk about nothing else but these two authors for a week. Bond’s own obsession with literature results in a surprising cocktail of influences, which can be heard in the music. Musically, one hears inspiration from James Taylor, Randy Newman and Sufjan Stevens, but lyrically Bond echoes Hemingway’s writing: his music transports you to gravelly mountain paths, a dark Madrilene bar smelling of sherry and olive oil, or a deep dark pine forest.
For “In Our Time”, P.J.M. Bond expanded his literary views and ambition by putting to music his favorite work from his favorite American author: Ernest Hemingway. The latter’s debut short-story collection “In Our Time” was published in 1925, and brought Hemingway instant fame. Now, almost one hundred years later, Bond set out to write a song for each of the 17 short stories contained in the volume, which include some of Hemingway’s most famous and lasting works of prose, such as “Indian Camp”, The Three-Day Blow” and “Big Two-Hearted River”. Bond initially locked himself up in a wood cabin for writing and recording sessions, and then finished the album at PAF! Studio in Rotterdam. The album is a project of unprecedented vision and ideals, and is unique in its marriage between music and literature. Acclaimed Hemingway scholar J. Gerald Kennedy wrote the following:
“P.J.M. Bond has deftly captured the plangent music of In Our Time in this act of creative homage. For anyone familiar with Hemingway’s ground-breaking collection, the songs that fill this album will recall both the beauty of its prose and the lurking nostalgia for lost innocence and belief after numbing disillusionment. Sweetly melodic phrasing, quiet lyrics conjuring key story lines, commonplace sounds (falling rain, footsteps on snow, a ratcheting reel), pulsating rhythms, metrical changes, sometimes unnerving dissonance—these are the hallmarks of the brilliant musicality offered here. Bond’s compelling guitar work, lush keyboard creations, and poignant vocals make Hemingway’s pieces come alive in new and surprising ways. He recalls both the radical discontinuity of these stories and the connective emotions, often expressed in irresistible cello refrains that evoke a primal yearning.”
Bond’s music brings a fresh and unique voice to the singer-songwriter scene, preoccupied with confessional writing. It is time for a new form of storytelling, for top-notch literary Americana: it is time for P.J.M. Bond.
Menno Timmerman / The Men-O
Walter Wilhelm / For the Road
Dick van Dijik / Concerto Records