Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Shy Away’

The debut album from Loma, a collaborative trio formed of members of Shearwater and Cross Record, has an intriguing atmosphere and dynamic to it, likely due in part to the unusual circumstances of its creation. At the outset of the sessions, singer Emily Cross and multi-instrumentalist Dan Duszynski were a married couple, who towards the end of recording decided to divorce. Despite this, the trio completed ‘Loma’, a record of incredible depth and clarity that cathartically explores rich soundscapes. Though the album is strong in its entirety, the stunning highlight ‘I Don’t Want Children’ exemplifies the trio’s acute attention to detail as synthesised textures gradually layer over a delicate piano arrangement, with Cross‘ crystal-clear vocals piercing straight through. ‘Loma’ is an emotionally wrought and delicately crafted album that is beyond impressive for any first offering – regardless of its circumstances.

It was only last month that the return of Loma, the collaboration of Cross Record’s Emily Cross, Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater and Dan Duszynski. That was around the release of the track “Ocotillo”, the first track from their upcoming second album, Don’t Shy Away, out in October via Sub Pop Records. This week the band have shared the latest offering from the record, Half Silences.

The first song the band wrote for Don’t Shy Away, “Half Silences” is the result of what Jonathan described as, “tinkering”, the track evolving from its early form, into the final version that, “always seemed to belong”, on this record. The whole track is built around the propulsive, brilliant drum beat, accompanied by chiming guitars and Emily’s echo-drenched vocal, creating an eerie shuffle that slowly worms its way into your mind and refuses to let go. Particularly wonderful is the chant along chorus, where voices arrive en masse to repeat the line, “generate light, generate heat, generate feeling”, driving the uneasy message home with each run-through. Further evidence that we’re on the right track when we declare Don’t Shy Away our most anticipated record of 2020,

“Half Silences” by Loma from their album Don’t Shy Away (Release Date: 10/23/2020 on @Sub Pop Records)

Loma’s “Don’t Shy Away”, their incredible and absorbing second album, will be available Friday, October 23rd worldwide through Sub Pop Records. The eleven-track effort, which features lyric videos for “Homing” and “Ocotillo” and official videos for “Half Silences,” “Don’t Shy Away,” “I Fix My Gaze,” and “Elliptical Days,” was produced and recorded by the band at Dandysounds in Dripping Strings, Texas—except for “Homing” , which was produced by Brian Eno. MOJO says of Don’t Shy Away, “Loma’s music unspools in vivid panoramas – sometimes downbeat and rainy, sometimes splashy and urgent, reminiscent of the mid-‘90s school of Bowery Electric post-rock. Yet the trio ensure all the glitches and layers (clarinet, brass, guitar) add bright pin-sharp accents not blurry textural flab, Cross’s voice glinting through ‘Blue Rainbow’s’ electro-cabaret judder or the Morphine-like rumble of ‘Ocotillo’ (4/5).” Exclaim! says: “Don’t Shy Away is ultimately as gratifying as it is ambitious. Brian Eno was right: Loma are the real deal (8/10).

Uncut praises the album’s’ “Atmospheric melodies” and how “Cross’ otherworldly vocals blend to absorbing effect (8/10,” while Secret Meeting raves, “Bigger in scope than the three piece’s self titled debut, “Don’t Shy Away” is on a whole other sonic level. It encourages us to not just exist in the spaces that we inhabit, but to find every possibility they could offer. As second records go, they don’t come much more mesmerically splendorous than this.” And Stereogum, in a glowing track review of “Elliptical Days,” says “Loma are making some gorgeous, otherworldly music.”

And today, BBC’s “6 Music” has made Don’t Shy Away its “Album of the Day.”

In celebration of the album’s release, Loma is presenting the “Don’t Shy Away” Sessions, a week-long series of live performances of songs from the album (and an interview with the band). The sessions via IGTV and Loma’s YouTube channel and were recorded in June 2020 in Dripping Springs, Texas.

Loma was conceived on the road, but the band was born in Dripping Springs, a slice of Texas Hill Country outside Austin with a population just shy of 5,000. Cross and Duszynski landed there seven years ago, when Cross happened upon an 18-acre ranch on Craigslist. Although Cross recently moved to the southern coast of England, the Dripping Springs locale still functions as a fully-outfitted recording studio and a home to Duszynski, Meiburg, and a brood of furry friends.

The ranch is situated next to an aviary, and the squawking birds who live there have offered uncredited contributors to both of Loma’s albums for Sub Pop: 2018’s self-titled debut and its recent follow-up, Don’t Shy Away. “You wake up to the sound of hundreds of parrots and macaws screaming their heads off,” Meiburg says, adding that the yelps and clucks of donkeys, peacocks, and chickens round out the ranch’s layered sonic character. Don’t Shy Away feels dark and warm and teeming with life, as if it were exclusively made in the hours when humans are quiet and wildlife chatters on. “The album is a lot about the beauty and the force of nature,” Cross says “That never loses relevance, no matter what’s happening, and maybe it is more relevant now.”

Emily Cross is the voice of Loma, but the group’s mercurial sound is a product of her work with recording engineer Dan Duszynski and Jonathan Meiburg of indie vets Shearwater. Cross and Duszynski, who used to be married, previously recorded experimental folk under the name Cross Record, and the duo opened up for Shearwater on tour in 2016. “I just never got tired of watching them,” Meiburg tells me. “I had this super music crush on them, so I said, ‘What if we made a baby together?’”

On Don’t Shy Away, elements of ambient, folk, free jazz, and pop dissolve into a singular sound that is deeply collaborative. Each member of Loma collectively shapes its songs; Meiburg writes the majority of the lyrics, but their delivery is molded by Cross and Duszynski. If Meiburg and Duszynski compose a melody, it is often Cross who contorts it into something grimier and more shadowy.

Loma are releasing a new album, “Don’t Shy Away”, on October 23rd via Sub Pop Records. This week they shared another song from it, “Elliptical Days,” via a video. Loma consists of Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg, alongside Emily Cross (of Cross Record) and Dan Duszynski. Cross and Duszynski directed the video (filming it in Dripping Springs, Texas). Cross had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Elliptical Days’ was one of those songs that was pretty well fleshed out by Dan and Jonathan by the time I heard it. I loved how different it sounded from what we usually make together, but it was somehow still in the Loma realm and the horn arrangement made it really special for me.

Meiburg adds: “The horn session for Don’t Shy Away was one of the most exciting moments in making the record. They drove out to the studio one evening and blew their hearts out for three hours, without hearing any of the songs beforehand. I think they left feeling a bit confused about what kind of record this was, but they were really good sports about it.”

Duszynski also adds: “I started ‘Elliptical Days’ as a sketch in Ableton- an exercise to learn the software and dig through some synth sounds. Jonathan heard me messing with it and walked into the control room asking, ‘Can we use this?’ The song really came to life as he and our good friend (and touring Loman) Emily Lee started overdubbing piano and koto parts—and as usual, our collaboration transcended what any of us could do alone.”

Don’t Shy Away is the follow-up to the band’s self-titled debut album, released back in February 2018 via Sub Pop. One song from Don’t Shy Away, “Homing,” was produced by Brian Eno. The album features “Half Silences,” a new song the band shared in April 2019 via a music video. When the album was announced they shared another song from it, “Ocotillo,” via a lyric video. Then in September they shared two new songs from it, title track “Don’t Shy Away” and “I Fix My Gaze,”

“Don’t Shy Away” Release Date: 10/23/2020 on Sub Pop Records.

Image may contain: text that says 'loma DON'T SHY AWAY'

LOMA is Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski and Jonathan Meiburg. We met on tour and made a secret pact to start a band together. Then we made an eerie and beautiful album way out in the country in Texas. Then, we made another. Don’t Shy Away comes out 10/23/20.

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’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, 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.

Band Members
Emily Cross, Jonathan Meiburg, Dan Duszynski

“Ocotillo” by Loma from their album “Don’t Shy Away” Release Date: 23rd October 2020 on Sub Pop Records.

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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