Summer is nearly here, and if even the weather has been a little wishy-washy about it lately, it won’t be long until hot sunny days and warm nights lure everyone outdoors. One sure sign of the start of the season is the return of WTMD’s First Thursday concerts, held on (surprise!) the first Thursday of every month from May to September at Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore. Bringing in a wide variety of artists from the internationally known to the new and local, and covering a wide range of genres, the free monthly events have something for everybody. This past week’s inaugural show for the 2018 season was no exception.
The Austin-based ensemble Loma took their very first tour to Washington DC in early May, delivering a mesmerizing set to a small crowd at DC9. Touring on the backs of their debut album on Sub Pop, Loma spotlighted two incredible assets: the vocals of Emily Cross, and the songwriting and guitar of Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg.
The best art happens when like-minded creatives get together with the simple goal of sharing and exploring a moment or feeling. For their debut album, Loma - the band made up of Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg and Cross Record's Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski - headed to the Texas countryside to craft their shared vision and returned with one of the best albums of 2018 to date. Intimate, but sonically sprawling, Loma depends as much on the sounds of the locale where it was created as it does the grandiose soundscapes of Peter Gabriel and exacting folk of Fairport Convention.
We're here for it, and you should be too, so let's hang out for a few and talk about this remarkable first step for a band we hope will be around for years to come.
PLUS! Motorcade loves that 80's sound ERGO we love Motorcade and have got a track to turn you on to them too!
The pressing sense of urgency and dread, of natural sounds and industrial clatter
Why You Should Care:
During Shearwater’s Jet Plane and Oxbow tour in 2016 and 2017, the opening act was the husband-and-wife Austin duo Cross Record, made of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. In comparison with the drive and electrified energy of Shearwater in its most direct mode, Cross Record in concert tends toward the amorphous, moving only infrequently toward rock structures with Cross singing over Duszynski’s multitracked guitars, keyboards, and assorted electronics.
Despite the differences in approach, the tour must have been a companionable one, because Shearwater singer and guitarist Jonathan Meiburg has put Shearwater on a friendly hiatus and joined Cross Record in a new project called Loma.
Loma’s second single “Relay Runner” opens with field recordings of frogs fading into a naggingly insistent industrial drumbeat. Emily Cross’s vocals take on an increasing sense of the desperation to escape. The track devolves into Meiburg’s heavily processed guitar and the continued thumping rhythm, producing an overall feeling of urgency and dread. “I find a needle in the night / I'm at the bottom of the lake / I'm coming up again / I'm throwing everything away.”
Loma will be released February 18, 2018, on Sub Pop Records.