From his talents on guitar and vocals as part of the Providence-via-Coventry hip hop band Toad & The Stooligans, it’s obvious that Dan Pomfret can lay down lyrics over beats effortlessly. He also does it at such a versatile pace where he can deliver these rhymes rapidly or in laid back fashion. He also has a knack for making it a fun experience for the listener. His debut album, “Rosemary Bathwater,” that was self-released on May 1 has him showcasing his skills in excellent ways. There’s also some paternal interludes and quick skits breaking up the musical routine to make things interesting.
What I find to be mind-boggling about this album is how Pomfret recorded it all using his iPhone and the Garageband program on his Mac. One would think this approach would have a bare bones result, but it’s all fairly flashy due to Pomfret and his fellow Stooligan, Mike “Toadstool” Jencks, handling the production, with Jencks also holding the mixing and mastering duties.
“It’s an album that’s about where I came from and where I’m going,” Pomfret says on “Rosemary Bathwater.” “It’s about never feeling good enough and always trying to improve. It features rants from my dad, my girlfriend’s voice and my talented friends. It’s partially about losing a hundred pounds and finding some damn confidence in myself, that’s why the cover is so stupid (laughs). I hope people laugh at it because it’s just me and it’s who I always will be.”
“I really wanted to make something that was as uncomfortably ‘me’ as possible so I just let it fly,” He adds. “I recorded everything using Garageband on my iPhone and I stubbornly played as much of it as I could myself. The drum track in ‘Father’ is a loop I recorded with my iPhone mic, and bless Mike for mixing this mess (laughs). I learned so much from him and from this and it’s nonstop from here.”
That loop in “Father” comes from a mellow guitar riff with some drum beats and there’s an organic vibe all the way through. There’s also some soul and R&B elements present as well that expands the track’s horizons. Jencks also jumps in on “Sly” that has beatboxing and a piano chord along with an abundance of smooth charisma. “Life Is A Dream” has an hypnotic chorus taking cues from ‘50s pop music while the beat is heavy on the bass. There are a bunch of other excellent songs on the album, but these few definitely shine in their own way.
Folks can listen to “Rosemary Bathwater” via Pomfret’s Bandcamp page at danpomfret.bandcamp.com. They can also search for it on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and anywhere else they stream music. Once the ears dive into this album, they’ll want to do it over and over again. That’s because of the unique assortment of beats and loops that go along with the swag-filled lyrics.