Recording information: Dandy Sounds, Dripping Springs, TX.
The debut long-player from the Lone Star State trio featuring Jonathan Meiburg, Emily Cross, and Dan Duszynski, Loma splits the difference between the spectral post-rock of the latter pair's Cross Record, and the powerful indie rock pageantry of the former's Shearwater. The project began to take shape during Shearwater's 2016 tour, which saw Cross Record serving as the support act. Recorded in a secluded Texas farmhouse in the midst of the dissolution of Cross and Duszynski's marriage, the ten-track set is both delicate and robust; a semi lo-fi excursion into impressionistic art-rock that appeals to both the head and the heart. Bolstered by a pair of compelling singles, the appropriately Motorik "Relay Runner" and the brooding and hypnotic closer "Black Widow," there is a considerable bit of alchemy at work -- Meiburg provided the lyrics and melodies, while Cross handled vocal duties and Duszynski engineered and mixed -- this suggests that whatever bad juju was occurring in the background was being successfully processed through the music. Opener "Who Is Speaking" sets an almost ephemeral tone that's eventually reined in by the muscular "Dark Oscillations" and "Joy," both of which flirt with traditional rock architecture, but are ultimately carried off into the ether via Cross' celestial voice. The stark and brutally frank "I Don't Want Children" impresses with its sonic intimacy, as does the mercurial "Sundog," one of a few selections that utilizes the sounds of the remote location's flora and fauna -- wind through the trees, birds chirping, and dogs barking in the distance -- lending the proceedings a bucolic, almost Terrence Malick-ian vibe, and adding even more mystery to what is truly a singular piece of work. ~ James Christopher Monger
Clash (Magazine) - "It's undoubtedly a lovingly produced set of tracks, filled with an almost tangible level of texture..."