Candy-coated blues

The two-unit blues rocker will be releasing their EP this Friday at the Turf Club.

Bombay Sweets will be joined by Birthday Suits and the Blind Shake this Friday.

Image by Photo courtesy of Bombay Sweets

Bombay Sweets will be joined by Birthday Suits and the Blind Shake this Friday.

by Raghav Mehta


Who: Bombay Sweets, The Blind Shake, Birthday Suits, Brute Heart, DJ John Reis

When: Saturday, 9 p.m.

Where: Turf Club, 1601 W. University Ave., St. Paul

Cost: $7

 It was the summer of 2009 when guitarist Nathan Grumdahl founded his solo project Bombay Sweets. Equipped with nothing but a drum machine, a guitar and a handful of loop pedals, GrumdahlâÄôs musical creation was the kind of lo-fi warbling that could turn the heads of both indie-rock purists and blues aficionados.

But Grumdahl knew he could only get so much mileage out of the one-man setup. It wasnâÄôt until he enlistedhis friend and former bandmate Jeff Brown that the project really started to take off.

âÄúIâÄôm someone who really likes rock music and likes loud music and knew early on that I needed a drummer,âÄù Grumdahl said.

And now Bombay Sweets are ready to unveil their latest concoction, joining the stage with local punk outfits The Blind Shake and Birthday Suits Friday at the Turf Club.

Their debut, self-titled EP fuses together the very best elements of breezy surf rock and traditional blues standards. And the songs are all relatively short too âÄî the longest track barely surpasses the three-minute mark.

âÄúThe idea was to get to something more primal and minimal and elemental,âÄù Grumdahl said.

While the group may not shift the dynamics of music, theyâÄôre not just assembly-line indie either. What distinguishes Bombay Sweets is their emphasis on texture and the ability to create such busy arrangements with so little in the way of resources.

GrumdahlâÄôs writing might sound basic at first listen but heâÄôs a guitarist that emphasizes details and accents each note with vibrato while layering them with bass lines.

âÄúBelieve it or not, everything on that record is effectively live. There are one or two overdubs on it and that technique is loyal to how the band started,âÄù Grumdahl said.

When the duoâÄôs performing live, they stick to the basics. Grumdahl doesnâÄôt use anything other than a vibrato and bass pedal. Brown, too, keeps it simple by performing with a cocktail drum âÄî a rarely used portable drum kit that requires a performer to play while standing upright.

âÄúThereâÄôs a certain looseness that happens but we fit really well together so itâÄôs hard to imagine bringing someone else in and getting that same immediacy,âÄù Grumdahl said. âÄúItâÄôs great because we can switch it up really quickly and if we want to, go from 0 to 60 in a second.âÄù