POM is a collaborative effort between Robin Dann of the Toronto band Bernice and ex-Local Rabbit Ben Gunning. POM EP is the first release from the new duo, and it serves up three original songs plus an alternate 'hard version' of the first single, "Echo."
Anyone who has spent any time with Ben Gunning's solo career will recognize elements of the dense, quasi-futuristic indie R&B sound on display through the EP's four tracks, but POM shines the vocal spotlight on Dann, who brings a welcome levity to songs that might otherwise feel overstuffed.
The standout moment here is the aforementioned "Echo," a woozy, dreamlike track by turns alluring and disorienting. It opens with some wispy, ethereal vocals from Dann before yielding to a low-key, funky beat and transitioning into a weird interlude where Dann croons "the oranges grow and flowers open / and now and then some new person is born / to smell them." This is the soundtrack to the bottle of wine you open after everyone has left your house party.
Midway tracks "I Don't Know" and "Pet" are cut from a similar cloth, featuring lots of bleating synths and more breathy vocals and enigmatic lyrics from Dann. "Pet" also unleashes Gunning's distinctive falsetto for a solo verse. The EP closes with "Echo (Hard Version)," which reimagines the lead track as a '90s-style club cut.
POM brings together two artists clearly committed to a unique vision. Their debut EP, though brief, raises plenty of intrigue regarding what path POM might take on a full-length record. (Independent)