The DJ Sessions


News: After nearly a four year hiatus, dream pop exponents Loma announce new album and unveil the blissful single ‘How It Starts’.

Backseat Mafia | April 17, 2024

Loma (Emily Cross, Dan Duszynski, Jonathan Meiburg) have announced the release of their third album ‘How Will I Live Without A Body?’ on 28 June 2024 through Sub Pop Records – their first release since 2020’s magnificent ‘Don’t Shy Away’ (reviewed by me here). Along with the announcement they have shared the first single and accompanying official video, ‘How It Starts’, directed by and starring Cross.

‘How It Starts’ indicates the band maintain their ability to deliver the dreamiest of dream pop – a layered shimmering sound that seemingly floats in the ether. A rolling arpeggiated piano underpins the song with a dappling aquatic sound as Cross’s delicate velvet vocals breath over the top with distant reverberations and a faint horn in the distance. It’s transfixing and hypnotic, building up in intensity as choral voices haunt the edges before a gentle release.

The accompanying video is a series of lushly evocative scenes and close intimate portraits that help visualise the rich delivery of the track, Cross’s pregnant form next to the verdant greenery:

It is great to see this trio back in action.

‘How It Starts’ is out now and available to download and stream via all the usual sites.

The genesis of the new album was fraught with challenges as the band was scattered around the world and went through a hiatus. Cross says:

It’s like a demon enters the room whenever we get together.

Multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Dan Duszynski remained in his studio in central Texas, but Cross, a UK citizen, moved to Dorset, and writer and instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg left the US for Germany to research a book. In the pandemic years, being in the same room was impossible, and attempts to start a new record faltered.

In an attempt to salvage the record and the band, Cross suggested they regroup in the UK, in the tiny stone house—once a coffin-maker’s workshop—where she works as an end-of-life doula. With minimal recording gear and few instruments, Loma turned two whitewashed rooms into a makeshift studio, using a coffin woven from willow branches as a vocal booth. Meiburg recalls:

Sitting in our heavy coats around a little electric radiator, we realised how much we’d missed each other—and that just being together was precious.

Loma’s previous album, Don’t Shy Away, was galvanised by the encouragement of Brian Eno. This time, they were inspired by another hero, Laurie Anderson, who offered a chance to work with an AI trained on her work. Meiburg sent two photos; Anderson’s AI responded with two haunting poems. Meiburg says:

We used fragments of these poems in ‘How It Starts’ and ‘Affinity’. And then Dan noticed that one of AI-Laurie’s lines, ‘How will I live without a body?’ would be a perfect name for the album, since we’d nearly lost sight of each other in the recording process.

For the album’s cover art, returning collaborator Lisa Cline took inspiration from the histories of “bog people” human cadavers found naturally mummified in peat bogs.

‘How Will I Live Without A Body?’ is available to preorder on CD/LP/digitally worldwide from Sub Pop. In the UK and Europe, LP preorders through Sub Pop’s new Mega Mart 2, and UK/EU Independent retailers will receive the Loser edition on Neon Orange Vinyl

‘How Will I Live Without A Body’ is available to pre-order here and through the link below.

Feature Photograph: Emily Cross

Written by Backseat Mafia


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