Stream the album in full here starting tomorrow, Friday, October 23rd, and watch the band’s Don’t Shy Away Sessions live performances October 23rd-29th.
★★★★ MOJO 8/10 Uncut 8/10 Exclaim! “Gorgeous, otherworldly music” Stereogum “Album of the Day” BBC 6 Music
Loma’s Don’t Shy Away, their incredible and absorbing second album, will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL tomorrow, Friday, October 23rd worldwide through Sub Pop. 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” (featured above!), 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.”
[Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker]
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 kick off tomorrow, October 23rd via IGTV and Loma’s YouTube channel and were recorded in June 2020 in Dripping Springs, Texas.
The performances run daily from October 23rd to October 29th and will be public every day at Noon PT / 7 pm GMT, and were all shot by the band’s friend and photographer, Bryan C. Parker. The schedule is as follows:
October 23: “Ocotillo” October 24: “Half Silences” October 25: “I Fix My Gaze” October 26: Loma Interview October 27: “Don’t Shy Away” October 28: “Elliptical Days” October 29: “Homing”
Loma’s Jonathan Meiburg has also announced the publication date of his first book, A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey. It’s a wild and entertaining romp through our world’s deep history in the company of the caracaras—intelligent, crow-like South American falcons whose sharp minds and mischievous habits baffled and amused Darwin. The book will be published on March 30, 2021 by Knopf Doubleday in the US and The Bodley Head in the UK,and is available for pre-order now at jonathanmeiburg.com.
Loma has delivered an official video for “Elliptical Days,” a new track offering from their soon-to-be-released and highly anticipated album Don’t Shy Away. Band member Emily Cross dances and manipulates floodlights in the remote darkness of a rural Texas night, playing on the song’s lyrical themes of death and rebirth (“Light gathering/In the open spaces;” “Look at the difference you made/small as a star in the evening”) to deliver yet another arresting visual to the album’s uniquely lush and panoramic sound. “Elliptical Days” was directed and edited by Cross and fellow Loman Dan Duszynski in Dripping Springs, Texas.
Of the song, Cross had this to offer: “‘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. Her bandmate Jonathan Meiburg concurs: “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 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 will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL October 23rd, 2020 worldwide through Sub Pop.
On Friday, October 2nd, Sub Pop artists past and present – new signees CHAI, The Gotobeds (w/ Chicago’s Daddy’s Boy), Loma, METZ, The Postal Service, Chad VanGaalen, and Wolf Parade – will be offering a variety of new and unreleased material, special sales and deals through Bandcamp’s “No Revenue Share Day” aka #BandcampFriday.
CHAI’s “Donuts Mind If I Do” is a new song and the band’s label debut, available digitally now from Sub Pop. “Donuts…” will also be available on the group’s forthcoming “Donuts Mind If I Do” b/w “Plastic Love” 7” single out this November. This limited edition 7” is available to pre-order in two color options through Bandcamp – on either orange or turquoise colored vinyl.
$2 for both tracks, $1 per track (digitally).
$8 for the 7” single (physical + while supplies last).
Est. ship date for the 7” single is late November.
The Gotobeds “Sunny Youth” / Daddy’s Boy “Family Cat” is a split digital single with proceeds going to Prison Neighborhood Arts Project. “Sunny Youth” was recorded during sessions for The Gotobeds’ Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, their Sub Pop debut, while Daddy’s Boy’s “Family Cat” was recorded earlier this year at Electrical Audio in Chicago by Steve Albini. Both tracks are previously unreleased.
$1 per track.
Kiwi. Jr’s “Undecided Voters” is the just-released, darkly comic and prescient single from the Toronto-based, newly signed Sub Pop band.
$1 per track.
Loma’s self-released “Wheal Owles,” is a long, loose, haunting, and very human 15-minute instrumental. Emily Cross on clarinet, Jonathan Meiburg on guitar, Dan Duszyniski on drums.
$5 for the track.
METZ’s entire digital discography, including the digital pre-order for Atlas Vending, their forthcoming album out October 9th, 2020 on Sub Pop, is available for sale at 35% off (or $39.65 in total).
Digital discography sale begins Friday and ends Thursday, October 8th.
Chad VanGaalen’s Lost Harmonies is a b-sides compilation of songs that were intended to be part of a synth-focused record called Lost Harmony. VanGaalen says of the project, “They were all improvised live and recorded them — quick and dirty. I was always critical of the way my voice still sounded like my normal voice, and the album got shelved. Eventually I returned to it and tried manipulating the sounds using pitch-shifting and changing tape speeds. I finally felt like it was cool to drool, and it evolved into Lost Harmonies. These are the kind of songs I make to entertain myself late at night.”
Pay what you want for the compilation on Friday, $1 per track after.
Don’t Shy Away will be out worldwide October 23rd from Sub Pop.
Loma (Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski, and Jonathan Meiburg) has delivered two new official videos from Don’t Shy Away, their forthcoming longplayer. The aerial shot for melancholic new single “Don’t Shy Away” (the title track) was filmed, directed and edited by Duszynski, while the hypnotic, introspective album opener “I Fix My Gaze” was filmed, directed, and edited by Cross.
Duszynski says of the video for “Don’t Shy Away”: “I knew I wanted a single shot with a gradual reveal to complement the slower enveloping mood of the song. The time-stopping effect draws me in without distracting from the music. I also love Jonathan and the dogs’ cameos.”
Cross offers this on “I Fix My Gaze”: “I wanted to convey the feeling of being free even within a walled-in space. Recognizing that you’re trapped, in a way, but that there is still beauty and joy to be found.”
Meiburg says: “The video for ‘Don’t Shy Away’ was pure serendipity. So many things happen in it—the dogs, the birds, the timing—that could never be replicated, even if we tried. And I love Emily’s vision for ‘I Fix My Gaze.’ Emily was a visual artist before she was a musician, and it comes through in everything she does.”
The Malick-esque visuals were filmed in Texas (“Don’t Shy Away”) and Arizona (“I Fix My Gaze”).
Don’t Shy Away will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL October 23rd, 2020 worldwide through Sub Pop. Preorders of Don’t Shy Away are now available from Sub Pop. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com, and select independent retailers in North America will receive the album on translucent yellow vinyl. Meanwhile, LP preorders in the U.K. and Europe through select independent retailers will receive the album on dark green vinyl.
What “The People” are saying about Loma: “Atmospheric melodies and Cross’ otherworldly vocals blend to absorbing effect…” [Don’t Shy Away, 8/10] - Uncut
“Loma are making some gorgeous, otherworldly music.” [“Half Silences”] - Stereogum
“Cherish their return, it’s a triumph” [“Ocotillo”] - For The Rabbits
“Cross’ vocals are heaven-sent” [“Ocotillo”] - Beats Per Minute
Loma’s “Half Silences” is a sublime standout and visual from Don’t Shy Away, the group’s forthcoming album. Band member Jonathan Meiburg says of the track, “‘Half Silences’ was the first song we recorded for Don’t Shy Away, and we kept tinkering with it after we soft-released an early version last year. When you start making a record, you don’t know which songs will make the cut—but this one always seemed to belong, and we wanted to give the final mix (and its DIY video) a proper debut. People have asked if the fireworks are CGI. They aren’t.”
PASTE calls “Half Silences” “hushed and hypnotic,” and Gorilla vs Bear notes the song’s “haunting” vibe. Meanwhile, Clash Magazine says of the track, “‘Half Silences’ has a slightly more raw, visceral feel to their debut, its jagged guitar lines underpinning those fine vocal performances. Nuanced and mature, it’s the sound of those musicians further strengthening their bonds, while exploring fresh territory.”
Don’t Shy Away will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL October 23rd, 2020 on Sub Pop. The eleven-track effort featuring “Ocotillo,” the aforementioned “Half Silences,” ”Elliptical Days,” “Homing” and the title track, was produced and recorded by the band at Dandysounds in Dripping Strings, Texas—with the exception of “Homing,” which was produced by Brian Eno.
Late last month, Loma released the equally stunning Don’t Shy Away track “Ocotillo” to rave reviews. Stereogum calls the song “A languid and lovely piece of music that slowly builds up into widescreen catharsis. Cross’ powerful, crystalline lead vocal is a thing to behold.” Brooklyn Vegan offered this, “The gorgeously widescreen ‘Ocotillo’ that sounds as open as the Texas plain.” Beats Per Minute had this say, “Before long, the first tastes of woodwind appear, and from there Loma keep “Ocotillo” continually growing, oozing beauty and pomp as they subtly add in more layers. Cross’ vocals are heaven-sent, looking out over the vast plains created by the band, and together with her we sail through it, soon finding ourselves in thickets of wild and noisy brass and strings – utterly engrossed and captivated.” And For the Rabbits raved, “[‘Ocotillo’] 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 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.”
Loma (Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski, and Jonathan Meiburg) have returned withDon’t Shy Away, their incredibly absorbing new album and the follow-up to their acclaimed, self-titled debut, which will be available on CD/LP/CS/DL October 23rd, 2020 on Sub Pop. The eleven-track effort featuring the standouts “Ocotillo,” “Half Silences,” ”Elliptical Days,” and “Homing,” was produced and recorded by the band at Dandysounds in Dripping Strings, Texas—with the exception of “Homing,” which was produced by Brian Eno.
More on Loma’s Don’t Shy Away: 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.
At the time, a second Loma album seemed unlikely. The band began as a serendipitous collaboration between Cross, the multi-talented musician and recording engineer Dan Duszynski, and Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg, who wanted to play a supporting role after years at the microphone. They’d capped a grueling tour with a standout performance on a packed beach at Sub Pop’s SPF 30 festival, in which Cross leapt into the crowd, and then into the sea, while the band carried on from the stage—an emotional peak that also felt like a natural ending. “It was the biggest audience we’d ever had,” she says. “We thought, why not stop here?”
[Photo Credit: Bryan C. Parker]
Following the tour, Cross went to rural Mexico to work on visual art and a solo record, while Meiburg began a new Shearwater effort. But after a few months apart (and Eno’s encouraging words), the trio changed their minds and reconvened at Duszynski’s home in rural Texas, where they began to develop songs that would become Don’t Shy Away. Loma writes by consensus, and though Cross is always the singer, she, Duszynski and Meiburg often trade instruments. Meiburg compares their process to using a ouija board, and says the songs revealed themselves slowly, over many months. “Each of us is a very strong flavor,” he says, “but in Loma, nobody wears the crown, so we have to trust each other—and we end up in places none of us would have gone on our own. I think we all wanted to experience that again.” The album that emerged is gently spectacular—a vivid work whose light touch belies its timely themes of solitude, impermanence, and finding light in deep darkness. Stuck / beneath / a rock, Cross begins, as if noticing her predicament for the first time. Then she adds: I begin to see / the beauty in it.
It’s a couplet that evokes the album in miniature. Don’t Shy Away is shot through with revelations, both joyful (“Given a Sign”) and sober (the clear-eyed title track), and winds from moment to moment with confidence and humor. Like Loma’s first effort, there’s a tangible and sensuous feeling of place; insects sing in the trees, an ill-fitting door creaks in the wind. But there’s also a daring and hard-won wisdom, underlined by Cross’s benevolent clarinet, which often sounds like an extension of her singing voice. “Ocotillo”’s desert landscape unreels into a blazing sun; “Elliptical Days” seems to ascend endlessly like Escher’s circling monks; the jubilant “Breaking Waves Like a Stone” appears out of a haze of synthesizers that pulse like fireflies. A series of guests wander through these absorbing soundscapes, including touring members Emily Lee (piano, violin) and Matt Schuessler (bass), Flock of Dimes/Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and a surprisingly bass-heavy horn section.
And then there’s Brian Eno. Loma invited him to participate in the mantra-like “Homing,” which concludes the album, and sent him stems to interact with in any way he liked. He never spoke directly with the band, but his completed mix arrived via e-mail late one night, without warning, and they gathered to listen in the converted bedroom Duszynski uses as a control room. “I was a little worried,” says Cross. “What if we didn’t like it?” But it was all they’d hoped for: minimal but enveloping, friendly but enigmatic, as much Loma as Eno—a perfect ending to an album about finding a new home inside an old one. I am somewhere that you know, Cross sings, above a chorus of her bandmates’ blended voices. I am right behind your eyes.