Loma - the new project comprised of Jonathan Meiburg, best known as the singer of Shearwater, and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record - will released their self-titled debut album earlier this year through Sub Pop. A product of a joint pilgrimage around the globe by fellow touring musicians, Loma is a beautifully detailed and emotionally rich album that reveals a band obsessed with songs as sound.
Meiburg, Duszynski and Cross became friends when Cross Record, on their first-ever tour, supported Shearwater throughout America and Europe. The trio soon convened in a house in the Texas hill country to see what would happen, and quickly realized an album was imminent. “There was something powerful about the combination of the three of us,” Meiburg says, “and very different from either of our bands. But I think we were afraid to say so out loud, for fear of jinxing it.” For the next few months, Loma met for two weeks at a time, shaping and revising new songs and casting others away.
It was also a strangely charged time. When the album began, Cross and Duszynski were a married couple, but their relationship ended during the sessions—an atmosphere Meiburg found both challenging and inspiring—and the isolated house became the album’s muse. Dogs wander by the microphones; the sounds of birds and wind in junipers and live oaks hover at the borders of the songs, and a close listen reveals cicadas and frogs from a nearby stream. Except for Cross’s translucent voice in the foreground, there were no assigned roles on the album; each member of the trio played every instrument as needed.
This feeling of freedom let buried energies find expression. Cross wrung catharsis from Meiburg's lyrics and melodies, while Duszynski immersed himself in the sonic details of engineering and mixing. In the end, the record became a document of an urgent and ephemeral place and time, and the strength that comes with letting go of something precious.