Tom Gallo is the host of Look At My Records! on Radio Free Brooklyn.
Bushwick’s Looms are back with their dynamic, heart-wrenching third full-length album, The Way Up, which is set for release on Friday, May 3 via Good Eye Records. On The Way Up, Looms delivers a guitar-centric indie rock sound that mixes both classic and modern elements to evoke tangible feelings of lovelorn emptiness and heartache, which are fleshed out across 10 tracks that seamlessly mesh an array of influences including folk, Americana, electronic, jazz, and pop.
The Way Up is an impressive collection due largely in part to its dense sonic soundscapes that make use of principal songwriter’s Sharif Mekawy’s multi-instrumental talents, as he shines both on guitar and piano. The clean sounding acoustic guitars and Mekawy’s gentle twang on “Dead Time” evokes feelings of Smoke Ring For My Halo era Kurt Vile, while the heartland riffs and melancholic melodies on the album’s penultimate track, “What About When,” are reminiscent of the vastness heard on the War On Drug’s A Deeper Understanding.
Other standouts include the serenely melodic piano-driven “Don’t Want A Thing” and “From A Roof,” which opens with a quiet acoustic intro that tumbles into a heavily reverberated chorus, echoing the themes of heartache that the record espouses. In accentuating these themes, Mekawy’s unique vocal performance stands out for its emotiveness and intimacy, while maintaining his own snarl, as he unites the yearning drawl of Jeff Tweedy’s delivery with the swagger and snark of Stephen Malkmus.
The record also includes a heavy hitter of a collaborator in legendary guitarist Nels Cline on the album’s single, “Eclipse.” The song, which Mekawy wrote while viewing a solar eclipse on his roof, is emboldened by Cline’s contribution, as his precise guitar work injects multiple bursts of energy that nicely segues into a series of acoustic-centric songs. However, the record isn’t without it’s heavier moments. “Three’s Company” is one of the record’s darker tracks, punctuated aching melodies and distorted guitars that are almost garage in nature.
The Way Up is set for release this Friday, May 3. You can pre-order it on limited edition vinyl via Good Eye Records.
To celebrate, Looms is performing on Friday at C’mon Everybody with Gesserit and HNRY FLWR. Tickets are $10.00 if purchased in advance.
You can also stream the already released singles from The Way Up, “From A Roof” and “Eclipse.”
There’s no shortage of great shows to check out this week. Here are a few worth catching:
Wednesday, May 1
Adeline, Igbo at C’mon Everybody, 8 p.m
Local funk and R&B artist Adeline kicks off her month-long residency at C’mon Everybody on Wednesday night. Formerly of New York disco outfit Escort, the dynamic Adeline released her highly anticipated debut self-titled solo record in November of last year. She continues to develop a strong reputation for her unique live shows, which prominently feature her mesmerizingly powerful voice and nimble bass playing skills. She’ll enjoy support from Igbo, a Brooklyn-based band that blends psych, jazz, afrobeat, and funk to create music that’ll get your feet moving.
Thursday, May 2
Veronica Bianqui, Phono Pony, Man-Moth at Sunnyvale, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles-based songwriter Veronica Bianqui added a few more New York gigs to her calendar, so if you haven’t had a chance to catch her perform her soulful psychedelic-pop jams yet, make sure you’re at Sunnyvale on Thursday. Phono Pony, a two-piece fuzzy garage rock duo from Vancouver, and Man-Moth, a trio that recently landed in Brooklyn by way of Tallahassee, Florida, are also on the bill. Check out Man-Moth’s long-awaited debut self-titled EP, which just dropped this past January. It’s packed with jangly guitars and smooth melodies.
Friday, May 3
TR/ST, Lydia Ainsworth at Elsewhere, 7 p.m.
TR/ST and Lydia Ainsworth are in town for two shows at Elsewhere on Thursday and Friday in support of brand new records. TR/SR, the project of Canadian electronic musician Robert Alfons, just released his fourth LP, the dark and gloomy The Destroyer – Part 1 on April 19, and he plans to release Part 2 later this year. Lydia Ainsworth is currently touring in support of her soon to be released third LP, Phantom Forest. Set for release on May 10, the record is Ainsworth’s first since relocating from Toronto to Los Angeles and tackles themes of man-caused destruction of nature. She recently shared the album’s latest single, “Diamonds Cutting Diamonds,” which features heavy, retro-sounding synths.
Saturday, May 4
Billy Moon, Toobin, The Ferdy Mayne at Trans-Pecos, 8 p.m.
Saturday night at Trans-Pecos features the Hamilton, Ontario-based post-punk artist Billy Moon, along with two esteemed local acts. Moon released the gritty and energetic Punk Songs in September of last year and has plans for a Canadian tour in May. The Ferdy Mayne, the project of songwriter Shane O’Malley Firek, plays high-powered emotional Americana-styled indie rock that can fill a room with dense guitars and warm vocals. Sandwiched in the middle of the lineup is Ridgewood, Queen’s Toobin, an electronic experimental project that features personal, intimate lyrics.
All images courtesy of bands and mentioned venues.
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