It’s never an easy feat, as a band, to shift stylistically without losing your soul. There are examples, of course — Radiohead’s hard-left from mainstream Britpop to IDM weirdos stands out as a major one — but it’s a huge challenge to court a new fan base while keeping the one you have. NYCTaper and The Loom go back to 2008, when it’d be fair to say they were a mellow-hued folk band. When I caught them in a backyard in 2010, it seemed well within reason that they’d be playing acoustic, with a homemade washtub bass and Lis Rubard’s horns wafting over John Fanning and Sarah Renfro’s dual vocals. In 2012, at Glasslands, it was clear that things were changing — their tastes in who they shared the stage with, for one — but you’d still have recognized that band you heard about from 2008.
Fast forward to Union Pool at the end of 2015, with a new bassist and drummer and two albums’ worth of material awaiting release. This band opened for Moon Duo recently, and you can see the shift in emphasis in everything from Fanning’s cranked vocal reverb to the darker, psychedelic guitar tone. The two new players, John Mosloskie on bass and Mike Rasimas on drums, change that dynamic as well, providing a more emphatic and punchy backbeat to go with the overall heavier sound. Rubard’s horns haven’t been jettisoned, thankfully, but in the new context they add a ghostly mourn under the swirl of guitars, bass, drums and Rubard’s keyboards, rather than taking center stage. This set showed off amped-up versions of new songs we’d heard before (“Fire Makes,” “Like Lamp Glow,” “The Reading Room”) as well as brand-new compositions such as “I Am Not Young,” perhaps the definitive statement on the band’s new direction. Even on the Sunday after Halloween, or as one might call it, “the worst possible night for a show ever other than Christmas Eve,” The Loom proved their mettle by drawing a crowd of the faithful who seemed fully committed to the new direction. If anyone was put off by the unabashed rocking-ness of “Your Wilderness Years,” for example, they didn’t show it — and I might’ve seen a few air guitars going in that audience, too. At this point, this is a veteran band, and it’s a reward to see them stretch their wings, especially after a period of introspection by Fanning as lead songwriter. The result, along with a more muscular sound, has been two fully recorded and produced albums that are awaiting a label home. Even if you were aware of the band, this is The Loom you haven’t heard before — and it’s time to get reacquainted.
I recorded this set with an excellent soundboard feed by Kyle Lawrence, coupled with Schoeps MK41V supercardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]
Stream the complete show:
Brooklyn, NY USA
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Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard (engineer: Kyle Lawrence) + Schoeps MK41V (at SBD, PAS)>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compress SBD)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 Fire Makes
02 I Am Not Young
04 Like Lamp Glow
05 Here In the Deadlights
06 Your Wilderness Years
07 The Reading Room
08 Morning Song, Mountain Song