It's difficult to pin down Loma's self-titled debut: pulling members from Shearwater and Cross Record, the album finds a newly crafted trio chasing inspiration in an unpredictable atmosphere of folk, introspection and exploratory sounds.
The spacious melodies and reverberating guitar of "Who Is Speaking?" set a contemplative tone before Loma picks up the clip with the drum-driven "Dark Oscillations," adjusting a "Wicked Game"-ish chorus melody into a rallying cry from the depths. "Joy" carries a vibe somewhere between Bat for Lashes and Iron & Wine, anchored by Emily Cross's crystalline voice. The reflective sparseness of standout "I Don't Want Children" rubs up against the robotic bounce of "Relay Runner" — the album's tone and scale changes from track to track, but the variation feels earned along its ten songs, unified by a sense of careful crafting.
Loma is also the product of atypical conditions, written and recorded as the marriage of two of its members was dissolving. The trio seem to have leaned in to that situation: Loma captures the intimacy of such heightened circumstance with layered, compelling nuance. (Sub Pop)