In many ways, the band Loma is a mystery. A band of what ifs, a trio of artists who each have successful projects on their own. The what if occur in what if this group had never gotten off of the ground? What if they hadn’t reconciled past their previous bonds and focused on the project itself? In a world full of uncertainty, that’s where we could be left at. However that’s not the case. What we have is a trio made up of members of Shearwater and Cross Record that make the kind of music we wish we heard more of. Almost without a care in the world, they’ve released their latest album Don’t Shy Away where the what if are answered and the mystery just continues to grow.
Can you stare at sound? The opening track “I Fix My Gaze” offers that kind of wonder. The mix of almost silence between the instruments and the vocals delivers a calming and nurturing tone, as if you’re back in the womb. While trickles of sound imbibe themselves here, the deft nature of the song’s structure makes it that much more alluring. Followed by the swirls of sound that make up “Ocotillo,” the build here is where the sorcery lies. The instruments makes themselves known by coming in with heft before the vocals take over your attention where your ears will stay. The way the song is written offers up a mysterious gape that will not leave your face, while you’re left waiting for what comes next.
While “Half Silences” brings up the orchestral and upbeat tone of the album, it’s “Given A Sign” that takes your breath away. Stabs of sound emit between vocals and varying instruments while the drums search for a space to settle in. The complex pace of the song lends itself to a stirring stride that never finds its footing. However this is a good thing as the path to get there is where the excitement resides. The not knowing where these songs will take you is what makes the music of Loma so thrilling. “Thorn” begins with spoken word before choral vocals roll in. The mix of the two is extraordinary in its representation. While the whole album is full of stunning reminders of what the band can do when they get together, it’s difficult to pick a favorite.
“Jenny” contains this nature bound tone with hypnotic instrumentation, “Don’t Shy Away” keeps your attention for its open ended notations. But if having to choose a favorite is the case, then “Blue Rainbow” is difficult to beat. With this jazzy piano that opens things, this gets met with a beat cluster and an electronica tone that sets the stage for the vocals to shine upon. The way the songwriting offers the tie ins here is enthralling as instruments come and go while building the track to a stellar and remarkable bane that opens your ears as to what music can be. Here, it’s just Loma cultivating your mind while keeping their mysterious nature undamaged.
Don’t Shy Away is ready to purchase directly from Sub Pop Records on various formats.It can also be purchased in all digital outlets or streamed on all streaming services.
Image Credits: Photo by Brian C. Parker.