Illustrator: Ruby Guthrie

Loma’s self-titled debut album is a delicate introduction to the band’s profoundly unique sound. It’s a sound that can only be described as celestial, with Emily Cross’s voice hovering lightly over the ebbs and flows of the group’s acoustics. It’s difficult to pin down each song, as Loma seems to transcend traditional ideas of music, foregoing a chorus line or structured verses and rather presenting music as a collection of echo-y sounds and fractured lyrics.

Throughout the album, the lyrics presented appear as poetry: sublime and a bit out of reach. The melancholy feel of the album may very well be due to the fact that two of the band’s members, Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski, began the project as a married couple but concluded their relationship before its completion. This made for a challenging creative atmosphere; however, the band’s members forged ahead with it, using the personal turmoil as inspiration to drive the music. Near the beginning of the album, Cross’s lyrics allude to a happy relationship. In “Joy,” she sings, “Love comes unstuck in the brain… Like a million million waves of joy.” The deterioration of Cross and Duszynski’s partnership becomes evident as the album progresses. In “Black Willow,” the last track, Cross sings “Because the life I lived is dead… I carry a diamond blade / When you said serve you / I will not.”

The overall tone of the album is somber and mysterious, which makes it the perfect companion to a cup of chamomile tea and an evening of contemplation.