Outstanding music is like a drug, where it can alter your mind, change your emotional well-being, or even take you to a different place without even moving your feet. These effects can only be achieved with the perfect ingredients, and Loma have written the cookbook on mastering the surreal and extraordinary. Their magic begins with the chemistry between Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater, whose eponymous debut album was a moody yet memorable sky-scraping experience. And in July of this year, they delivered a song-of-the-year candidate with the exquisite beauty, “Ocotillo”.

With their sophomore album a mere four weeks away, the trio share two more songs that transcend reality. The first is “I Fix My Gaze”, which is a stark but beautiful melancholic affair. Every second of the song is executed with tremendous patience. Each note is subtly delivered with no single instrument lingering too long nor dominating. Cross’ whispery voice is equally patient, reflecting her comatose state in this wicked and quickly decaying world.

“Stuck beneath the rock
I begin to see the beauty in it
I begin to see the hardness and the function of it
Its perfect texture
Smooth with age”

Whereas “I Fix My Gaze” was more akin to a post-modern art installation, “Don’t Shy Away” is a complex and gorgeous cinematic documentary. The track like its predecessor is calm and transfixing, but it is darker and more textured. It slowly builds from its subdued, Shinto-inspired foundation to a suspenseful and immersive, nearly cosmic, dark-folk experience. The song feels like the space between Earth’s atmosphere and space, where we feel distant but not so far from where we started. Cross’ lyrics, too, accentuate this feeling of separation and unity. Throughout the song, she asks a wandering soul to come back to her. To return to her sanctity and become reborn.

Loma’s sophomore album, Don’t Shy Away, is due October 23rd via Sub Pop Records. Pre-orders and pre-saves are available here and at Bandcamp.

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