LOMA – ” Ocotillo “

Posted: July 31, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

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There was never meant to be a second Loma record. The collaboration between Cross Record’s Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski, and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg released their challenging and brilliant debut album back in 2018, which topped our list of our the year’s best albums, and drew near universal acclaim. The gruelling tour that followed culminated at Sub Pop Record’s SPF 30 Festival and ended with Emily leaping from the stage, and heading straight for the sea. That was originally meant to be that – no more records, no more Loma. As Emily recalls, “it was the biggest audience we’d ever had. We thought, why not stop here?”. As you can probably guess from the fact you’re reading this, that wasn’t quite how the story ended. Courtesy of Brian Eno loving their music, On December 26th, 2018, Emily Cross received an excited email from a friend: Brian Eno was talking about her band on BBC radio. “At first I didn’t think it was real,” she admits. But then she heard a recording: Eno was praising “Black Willow” from Loma’s self-titled debut, a song whose minimal groove and hypnotic refrain seem as much farewell as a manifesto: I make my bed beside the road / I carry a diamond blade / I will not serve you. He said he’d had it on repeat.  The members pursuing their own projects, and a return to Texas, Loma were inspired to keep going, and the result is “Don’t Shy Away”, the band’s second album, out in October through Sub Pop.

Ahead of the release, this week Loma have shared “Ocotillo”, the first single to be lifted from Don’t Shy Away. Lifting its name from a cactus-like plant native to the deserts around the border of Mexico and the USA, the band were inspired by the somewhat precocious nature of the plant. As the band explain, “Ocotillo is a graceful, spindly plant that flowers extravagantly after rain—but it lives in places where it doesn’t rain for months, even years. It’s not hard to identify with it“. The track is instantly intriguing, the band continuing their collaborative approach to writing, and shaping their creativity into something that’s both dense and dextrous; even as it gets loud and jarring it always seems to maintain it’s propulsion, always flowing, always moving, never standing still. The track seems to build around the prominent bass, as flourishes of brass, woodwind, percussion, and vocals drift in and out of earshot. Lyrically, it seems to channel the freedom that often comes with moments of chaos, “lead me to another life. All my ties are broken, I’m in wonderful disarray”.

The return of Loma feels like a second chance, a band who could so easily have slipped between the cracks, returning to give us the chance to make them realise just how loved they are, cherish their return, it’s a triumph.

Don’t Shy Away is out October 23rd via Sub Pop Records

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