I’ve been a Shearwater fan for over a decade starting with the album Winged Life (2004). At the time Shearwater was still a side project for quieter collaborations between band leader Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff, Meiburg’s bandmate in Okkervil River. Meiburg developed Shearwater into his primary focus and released some of my all-time favorite albums, Rook (2008) and Jet Plane and Oxbow (2016).
On the Jet Plane and Oxbow tour I was introduced to Cross Record, a Texas based duo made up of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski. I became a fan of the duo’s latest album Wabi-Sabi, so I was extra excited to hear that Meiburg and Cross Record joined forces to create a brand new project called Loma, with a self-titled debut album coming to world via Sub Pop.
I heard Meiburg comment at some point about how it was interesting for him to write songs for someone else to sing and I was intrigued to hear the result. After a few spins of the pre-release album stream, I could definitely hear Meiburg’s vocal style coming through Cross’ vocals, particularly at the top of the track called “Joy”. It works…really really well! This album is the best of both bands. It has the intensity of the most recent Shearwater albums and the soft experimental qualities of Cross Record, but the sound somehow transcends both, becoming much greater than the sum of its parts.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in pop music that has an experimental edge and stretches the boundaries of convention but is still incredibly easy to listen to. Loma will be at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, May 5. Details here.