Don't get us wrong, we're no saps, but it only takes the first few tentative ascending notes that open "Surfer King" from AA Bondy's album Believers (listen below) to get our bottom lip wobbling (in a ultra-manly way, you understand). But then he starts to sing - a voice that's a bit rugged, a bit bruised, a bit smoky, a bit pained - and we go to pieces (ultra-manly pieces, like we said). So ok, the former Verbena frontman's new album, for which he cites Motown, Brian Eno and gospel as influences, is plenty dark - but sometimes that just the way we like it.
Believers by AA Bondy is out now (Fat Possum/Turnstile), and he's supporting Felice Brothers at various UK venues between 6 and 12 December. See aabondy.co/tour for details