Tomberlin

The sparse, intimate songs of singer/songwriter Tomberlin first appeared in 2017 on an early version of her debut album. With simple arrangements consisting only of acoustic guitar, keyboards, and light strings, At Weddings drew the focus to her fragile vocals and melodies and introspective lyrics. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Sarah Beth Tomberlin moved a lot as a child as the result of her father's work as a pastor. As a youngster, she had a few piano lessons and taught herself to play the guitar, a gift from her parents. The devout Baptist family eventually laid down roots in rural Southern Illinois. Tomberlin's exposure to secular music growing up was limited but included American Idol episodes full of songs she didn't recognize, and when she eventually bought a few CDs, she hid them from her parents. Homeschooled, she finished her high school equivalency at 16, and went on to work full-time while attending college. It was then that Tomberlin began writing the songs that would become her first album. Exploring themes of isolation and young adulthood, the Owen Pallett-produced At Weddings received a limited-edition vinyl release from Joyful Noise Recordings in late 2017. That year, Tomberlin also finished her associate degree and moved to Louisville, Kentucky. She soon signed with Saddle Creek Records, which reissued her debut in 2018 with three additional songs. ~ Marcy Donelson

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