I first became aware of Lorna a few years back,
when someone pointed me to their
page at MP3.com. Of course, this was back in the day when
artists would fill an MP3.com which dozens of songs. So i listened
to a suggested track, and liked it so much i downloaded all
of the avaialble songs, and i think there were like 20 of them.
And i liked them so much i pointed Mrs. Malimus at the site,
and she downloaded and enjoyed them, while Malimus somewhat
grumpily (as is his way) listened along.
The thing is, at that time Lorna was a one-man band sort of
thing. Some of the songs were electronic, some were folky, some
featured a female vocalist, some were purely instrumental. Most
were catchy and interesting.
Since then, Lorna has evolved, and now is a full-fledged band.
Mr. Rolfe, leader of all things Lorna, sings and plays guitar
and still writes the bulk of the songs (i think), but now the
project has expanded from a bedroom recording act into a real
And a damned fine one too. Rolfe has an ear for melody, and
he has built his band such that it is able to craft delicate
melodies and soaring harmonies. The music is light and delicate
and amazingly beautiful. Comparisons that spring to mind are
Red House Painters,
and Songs: Ohia. Good
stuff surely. And this is the first release by the new band,
Lorna. It contains 8 tracks of bittersweet harmonies. Very nice
stuff. A few of the tracks standout, so let me discuss them
The second track on the album, Sundown Bay, is, in all
honesty, breath-takingly beautiful. It starts slowly with just
Rolfe's voice and piano, until eventually co-vocalist Sharon
Cohen joins in. Light horns and xylophone underlay their duet,
and the song meanders along dreamily for a few minutes. Until,
suddenly, bassist James Allen sings alongside Rolfe, their two
voices not in tune and not meant to be, slightly discordant
and vaguely harmonious. Allen's voice adds a level of harshness
to the song that really works. And of course it reminds me of
the Gilmour/Waters duets off of The Final Cut.
Very nicely done.
For Hours Light is a different sort of tune for Lorna,
in that it rocks. The drummer cuts loose with an unstoppable
little rhythm that really propels the song along, as Rolfe and
Cohen sing in harmony. This tune is immediately followed with
Notes From a Generator, which is a slow song of voice,
tremolo, and horns. Very slow and very beautiful.
In general, this is a very well done work. And the wierd thing
is: it's free. You see, i'm on a mailing list with Mr. Rolfe,
and he is somewhat bitter that the band are currently having
difficulty getting signed to a label. So, Lorna is giving away
a CD for free, to anyone who wants to take the trouble to write
to them. (The adress is firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Which is a cool publicity stunt for them, and the chance for
you to get some cool music for free. For the price, this is
a no-brainer. Good pop music, well done and well recorded, for
free. How can you lose?