Picture this if you will. It's dusk, you're sat in the southern states of America, and you're having a real good think about your past and present woes. That sense of a dramatic landscape magnifying your own sense of introspection is essentially the debut record from three-piece outfit Loma.
A pairing of Shearwater mastermind Jonathan Meiburg and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record, Loma is an interesting concoction, but one that doesn't always necessarily gel. It's undoubtedly a lovingly produced set of tracks, filled with an almost tangible level of texture, but the songs often don't match their treatment.
For example, 'Dark Oscillations' tweaked and sinister beat is a straight lift off Bauhaus' classic 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' and it takes Cross' tender vocals to help elevate the number into something more personal. More impressive is the haunting 'I Don't Want Children'. A real powerhouse of feeling, the song's gentle instrumentation does nothing to lighten the weight of its topic, a rejection of motherhood. It's a theme not often put into song, but it's a mightily effective one.
Unfortunately, numbers like 'Relay Runner' do the album a disservice, its electro indebted groove disrupting the natural rhythm. Similarly 'Jornada' is so uncannily close to a Trent Rezoner instrumental it takes the listener out of the organic atmosphere the past seven tracks have tried so hard to create.
Luckily closer 'Black Willow' finishes things on a high, Meiburg joining Cross on vocal duties while a sparse yet addictive rhythm helps move things along. It's the most cohesive moment of this eyeliner-strewn Southern gothic record, and the one displaying the most promise for the future.
Words: Sam Walker-Smart
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