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A.A. Bondy, ‘Believers’ (Fat Possum)

A.A. Bondy is a repentant ’90s rocker whose third album of deceptively austere alt folk is ludicrously gorgeous, vaporous, and reverb-caressed, like the hushed, almost unbearable intimacy of pre-fame Cat Power. Light, expert touches conspire to liberate Believers from the NPR ghetto: the dirt-road motorik pulse of “The Heart Is Willing,” the soft concussions of distortion on “The Twist,” a delirious vein of vintage slowcore (Idaho fans, rejoice). Bondy’s voice is strong and true and inconsequential — Lord knows if anything he says actually means anything (“I can not be here today,” etc.) — but it all sounds enormously profound. We need to find a way to smoke this.