Loma: Don’t Shy Away (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #67 - Phoebe Bridgers and Moses Sumney

Don’t Shy Away

Sub Pop

Oct 26, 2020 Loma Bookmark and Share

This sophomore album from Loma continues their foray into the impressionistic and spectral indie rock sound that they first laid down on their 2018 self-titled debut album—a sound endorsed by the one and only Brian Eno. Turns out a friend tipped off frontwoman Emily Cross that Eno was heard on BBC radio praising “Black Willow” from Loma’s debut, so the band reached out and invited him to participate on new album closer “Homing.” Eno obliged.

“Homing,” along with the 11 tracks preceding it, are an excursion through various iterations of mystical indie rock, flowing with a lush underbelly of intriguing sounds and Cross’ beautiful voice. Sonic touchstones include the cool, textured pop of Karen O and Danger Mouse and the moody, ornamental indie rock of Bat For Lashes and Goldfrapp.

While “Homing” may have Eno’s meditative fingerprints all over it, it’s the more upbeat tracks that make Don’t Shy Away so enjoyable. The slithery rhythm patterns and trippy beats of songs such as “Ocotillo,” “Half Silences,” and “Given a Sign” are the album highlights that transform dreamy soundscapes into slinky, luxurious space-pop songs. Other tracks such as “I Fix My Gaze,” “Thorn,” and “Jenny” shift gears and amble in a less captivating direction with starker arrangements.

Using an array of instruments and musical styles, and a peculiar approach to songwriting, Loma paste together melodic fragments with a mysterious vapor of intriguing sounds. But what sets them apart and gives them some originality is the cabaret-ish vocal stylings of Cross. Her sultry poetics add an eerie savoir faire reminiscent of Twin Peaks (the TV show, not the band). The band also features Dan Duszynski and Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg.

Don’t Shy Away may be a bit less enchanting than Loma’s hypnotic debut album, but proves to be a likable record that is enjoyable on first listen and warrants repeated plays despite its few minor flaws. (www.lomatheband.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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