All That Leaves


Crash Symbols Records, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The highly experimental reuniting of a pair of longtime collaborators, Lofting is Libby Ramer (keys, vocals and electronics) and Ben Billington (percussion, keys, and modular synth), who previously played together in the Chicago outfits Moonrises (2008-2013) and Partner (2013-2015). Their project as Lofting came about due to COVID isolation, where Ramer’s rough outlines were fleshed out in both studio and home settings between 2022 and 2023, and Billington handles mixing duties, too. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The droning dreaminess of “Bells” begins the listen with the sounds of birds, sci-fi buzzing and a rare, glowing intimacy, which continues to the percussive focused “Down In The Round,” as Ramer’s soft voice is met with rich, engaging synth.

The middle is where some of the most unusual songs reside, with “Birds” giving off a nearly mechanical feel of fascinating electronics, while “Sail” is soft and ambient in its soulful and cultured presence. “Mending,” the album’s standout track, contains some of the best singing, as a sublime eloquence is met with mysterious percussive sounds and a stirring ambience.

Landing close to the end, “Sunder The Veil” embraces plenty of meditative qualities amid the lush layers of organic versus synthetic ideas that tips it hat to the ’80s, and “Galaxy” exits with a more firm demeanor of bright keys, frisky drumming and strategic repetition from Ramer’s mesmerizing—even hypnotic—vocal tone.

An effort that uses minimalism to its advantage, Ramer and Billington’s new album recruits noisey, psychedelic and prog-friendly bits of songwriting into this very unique nine-track affair. Though comparisons are essentially useless, Stereolab and Brainticket are worth mentioning, as the duo balance mood, serenity and fuller bouts of atypical pop that’s as colorful as the striking artwork that suits the cassette-only physical format.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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