Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Record label: Tender Loving Empire
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Loch Lomond started out as more or less a one-man project based around the vision of singer/songwriter Ritchie Young, aided and abetted by the production skills of Rob Oberdorder, but over the course of four albums and a couple of EPs, it's grown into a full-fledged, even large, ensemble. The fourth Loch Lomond full-length release, Little Me Will Start a Storm, feels -- at least in part -- like a product of its environment. Like several other members of the Portland, OR music community -- specifically the Tucker Martine/Decemberists/Laura Veirs/Laura Gibson axis -- Young and company blend the scrappy, open-minded D.I.Y.
Masters of sepia-toned chamber pop, Loch Lomond beautifully evokes the gentle romanticism of a bygone era with its first album for Tender Loving Empire. Be it the pulsing Old World groove of “Blue Lead Fences” or the introductory plucked strings of “Water in Astoria” (which resemble nothing if not giddy raindrops), it’s the expert manner in which this Portland, Oregon sextet deploys its harmonies and its array of instruments (including piano, clarinets, and the Mellotron) that weaves these vintage signifiers into something so timeless in its lovely elegance. About the only thing that can spoil the entrancing vibe is the jarring recognition that the verses of “Earth Has Moved Again” totally resemble those from Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine”.
There’s no denying the imprint music is able to leave on our personal lives and the way, many of us cope through/with it. For Portland sextet Loch Lomond, music seems to be the best way for one to express themselves, in being able to take symphonic chamber pop and fusing it with subtle but direct songwriting. There’s always the ability in being able to prove yourself through your own craft but there’s definitely something to be said about being able to combine different backgrounds, aspects and realms of music onto one heavily passionate album.