words by tom johnson
photograph by brit hansen
Lushloss’ Asking/Bearing LP begin in the wilderness somewhat, a few discordant notes ringing in the ether, Olive Jun’s scratchy and vague vocal surrounded by clipped beats and warbling ambience, the track slowly finding its feet as it rolls on. An album of two sides – hence the title – “St Marco”, that opening track, is indicative of the ‘Asking’ side of the record, the fractured pop sound that Lushloss crafts interspersed with excerpts from a Skype conversation between Olive and her Mother, which lends the record an almost overwhelmingly personal weight.
In other hands, such mannerisms could well prove to be overbearing, but Olive always knows when to pull back, when to leave sentiments hanging in the air and to drift back in to the musical side of the record. And that musical side is something crushingly special in itself, each track sharing similar aesthetics so that the whole piece feels strikingly immersive, only occasionally breaking from of its more hazy and vague path to add little dapples of light and colour to the otherwise dimmed surroundings.
The second half of the record plays out more distinctly, ‘Bearing’ showcasing Olive’s more playful and inventive side. Away from the wholly personal familial exploration, the songs here are cast in a different light altogether, feeling lighter and more playful, dipping in to other genres rather than following one set path. That exquisite ambient-pop style is still present but it feels much more free, leaping in to more outlandish electronic-pop vistas, dabbling with hip-hop inspired moments of release that dazzle and confound in equal measure.
Handled with the a truly elegant poise, where this record could have unravelled, Lushloss keeps it all tied beautifully together, the whole thing – whether personal or playful, Asking or Bearing – feeling like a wander through some magical world you’re never quite comfortable in, despite the beauty that surrounds. Inspired and inspiring, it’s a sprawling and infinitely special record – and we’re very pleased to stream the whole thing here for you today.
Check it out below right now and transport yourself somewhere else for a while.
Asking/Bearing is released on July 28th, via Hush Hush Records