Loma – Loma

Made up of members from Shearwater and Cross Record, Loma's eponymous debut is brimming with found sounds and unusual effects making for an enjoyable aural journey for the listener

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 13 Feb 2018
  • Loma – Loma
Album title: Loma
Artist: Loma
Label: Sub Pop
Release date: 16 Feb

Who is Speaking?, the opening track from Loma’s debut record, is something of a nod to the trio’s creative process. The symbiotic nature of the collaboration between Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and Cross Record (aka Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski) sees Meiburg writing lyrics for Cross to sing, resulting in a voice belonging to both of them and at the same time neither.

This phantom narrator, who sings in a slower, pitched-down version of Cross's voice, guides the listener on an ethereal journey through the organic world as refracted through glitchy productions and highly experimental compositions, joined along the way by myriad non-human voices including yelping dogs, clouds of insects and the wind through the trees.

It’s a testament to Loma’s abilities as sonic world-builders that a number of tracks sound less like traditional songs than they do field recordings from shadowy, secluded habitats somewhere far from civilisation. The combination of found sounds and unusual effects suggest the presence of other beings with whom the musicians are in conversation, be it the otherworldly echo that imitates Cross’s on Who is Speaking? or the shakers on Relay Runner, which are dead ringer for the cute yet low-key creepy forest spirits from Japanese animation Princess Mononoke.

Dark Oscillations marries said atmosphere with an equally seductive vocal melody that seems to sink down into the undergrowth. By the end of the track, now swimming in throbbing percussion and sultry clarinet, the listener has emerged somewhere else entirely; a mysterious ecosystem bursting with life.

Listen to: Dark Oscillations, Black Willow