To say it’s been a good year for Loch Lomond would be an understatement. The chamber pop group—now a nice and neat septet—have toured with the Decemberists and Blitzen Trapper, played a rousing early morning set at Sasquatch, released a 7-inch and free “getting to know us” EP, and somehow managed to get tighter as a band. Nowhere is this more evident than on “Wax and Wire,” the first tease from the group’sNight Bats EP and a perfect combination of baroque orchestration and real pop songwriting.
From all indications, “Wax and Wire” is a bit of an aberration from the rest of the five song record, which skews singer Ritchie Young’s distinctive voice—which flutters between a deep baritone and lovely, fleeting, and almost androgynous falsetto—into a set of songs that recalls early-R.E.M. more than Peter, Paul and Mary. Produced by the band and mixed by buddy Tucker Martine, the song is immense both in hi-fi and with a pair of good headphones, where you can hear every delicate instrument in the mix. It also sounds like Loch Lomond have learned a thing or two from its tourmates: instead of just merely floating along on its pretty melody and tempo changes, “Wax and Wire” has a genuine build-and-pull that recalls the best work of Colin Meloy and Co. Still, this isn’t Loch Lomond rocking out or anything. It’s the work of a band that knows what it does best, only this time, it might have done it better than ever.
Photo by Alicia J. Rose
11.10.09: Portland, OR @ The Woods
11.12.09: San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah
11.14.09 Brookdale, CA @ Historic Brookdale Lodge
11.15.09: Santa Barbara, CA @ Muddy Waters
11.16.09: San Diego, CA @ UCSD/The Loft (w/Horse Feathers)
11.17.09: Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater (w/Horse Feathers)