There’s no denying the imprint music is able to leave on our personal lives and the way, many of us cope through/with it. For Portland sextet Loch Lomond, music seems to be the best way for one to express themselves, in being able to take symphonic chamber pop and fusing it with subtle but direct songwriting. There’s always the ability in being able to prove yourself through your own craft but there’s definitely something to be said about being able to combine different backgrounds, aspects and realms of music onto one heavily passionate album.
For their latest release, Little Me Will Start a Storm, the music is once again fueled by main bandleader Ritchie Young and his interesting knack for combining the most whimsical of melodies with lush orchestration. This kind of chamber pop is perhaps what Loch Lomond is best known for – chosen to open for The Decemberists on a recent tour – they share in the same breed of symphonic music. Lead single “Elephants & Little Girls” transcends into an almost fantasy-like world with ornate arrangements that include wind instruments, cellos and violins for a fairytale-like feel. As the band sings, “Now we’re having fun, now we’re living life,” there’s a great rejoicing feeling in recognizing that maybe it’s best to simply live life to the fullest. If nothing else, there’s an abundant amount of optimism and perspective on Little Me Will Start a Storm.
A lot of the album’s music encircles those aforementioned remnants with a serene style that supports the songwriting with effortless care. On “Alice Left with Stockings and Earrings,” the song is introduced with a tickling acoustic guitar entrance and spectral, eerie vocals. While the music is softly strum, there is a great stir with the piano and string entrances and slowly, the build-up grows into a gradual progression of sounds. And other times, on a song like “Egg Song,” the music is given an almost Grizzly Bear-type touch with a combination of voices and instruments that intertwine within each other. As the music quietly swoons in and out, there’s a certain Andrew Bird feeling to it all and for Loch Lomond, it wears well. The music is easily attended to and the mutual expression of feelings – as they’re expressed through stunning instrumentation – is a terrific aspect that Little Me Will Start a Storm definitely possesses.
And as for the rest of those above mentioned remnants, they come shining through the strongest on a song like “I Love Me” and its swelling confidence. While the band tends to the nature of people when they act as if feeling healthy and taking care of one’s health is somehow, silly, the accumulation of strings, plucking guitars and the soft pound of a tom drum crescendo together to a soaring chorus of “I love me.” Celebrating that kind of hopeful attentiveness and knowing that there’s nothing wrong with it is surely a cause for declaration and Loch Lomond offer just that. It’s just part of the reason why Little Me Will Start a Storm is not just a sweet listen but one that marks a solid addition to Loch Lomond’s arsenal.
“Elephants & Little Girls” by Loch Lomond