by tom johnson
Lomelda’s ‘Forever‘ is so quintessentially American you can almost smell the dirt-stained stars and stripes that hang way above its weather-beaten front porch. Which is a rather ridiculous statement given that, firstly, I’m not from America and, secondly, it’s such a vast and widely nuanced country full of every shape and shade you can imagine that there to find anything ‘quintessential’ is something of a feckless task. So what, perhaps, I mean to say is that ‘Forever‘ could only have been forged in America. Those soft instrumental sways that hang like heat in the day, the occasional ferocious bite of the Hannah Read’s vocal fuelled by something far greater than itself, and the affecting lyrics which leap off the page:
“Golden sun on the rise, a new ache, a heavy breath,
Since my Great Aunt Lucy lost it in a dream in sleep…”
See what I mean? The whole album aches and creeks under the strain of the great country, of shadows cast across cracked sidewalks, of the great expanse of night, of the pain and importance found in any and every life, given the space to breathe across eleven magnetising tracks.
Riding a narrow straight, with sombreness on one side and blood-fuelled energy on the other, Lomelda craft sweet, guitar-led Americana with a muscular bite. Opening track ‘Brazos River‘ is a gleaming introduction, lyrics laced with nostalgia and imbued with a meaningful sense of weight akin to sharing old stories with someone new, while ‘New Age Lines‘ is a meandering, inventive six-minutes which leaps and bounds across an ever-shifting vista, held in place by striking words on love and escape: “Just a year ago we were young, now we’re old. Well, how could we know but be among stories told? When we left our home, we let those lines tell us where to go.“
Elsewhere, the two-parts of ‘Late Dawn‘ make for perhaps the most achingly pretty moments, before giving way to the title track which rides the sweetest of refrains before a stark, skewed guitar line and a rousing lead vocal takes the whole piece somewhere else entirely. And its within this realm that the pure strength of Lomelda bursts free. In other hands this wonderful document of adventure and escape could have felt tried and tested but it’s delivered with such unerring grace, with so much unexpected magic, that it compels every single time, whether you’re approaching it for the first time or you already feel tied to it in some sincere way.
Forever is out now. Download it via Bandcamp
or buy CD/LP via Punctum Records here