The first thing that should be mentioned about Loch Lomond is that they are not the second coming of The Decemberists, no matter what some music bloggers are saying. There are three reasons why they’re saying that though. Both bands from Portland, Oregon; both bands have toured together in the past; both bands would probably be found in a record store in the indie folk box.
If they actually listened to the music, they’d retract nearly everything. Little Me Will Start A Storm is a fairly restrained affair that feels graceful and meticulously crafted in its approach. For all the comparisons, it’s really the work of R.E.M. (‘Blue Lead Fences’) and Belle & Sebastian (‘Elephants & Little Girls’) that spring to mind upon repeated listens. That’s no bad thing either.
In truth, the songwriting approach here is nothing new and is rather understated but at its best it can be extremely captivating. ‘Earth Has Moved Again’, the album’s longest track at over five minutes, is extremely beautiful and easily the highlight whilst the closing tune, ‘Alice Left With Stockings And Earrings’, is soulful and warming. Ritchie Young’s voice is also shown to be incredibly dynamic throughout – ranging from wonderful falsetto to a cracked and wounded baritone.
The only thing that stops this from being truly excellent is that, for all the gentle arrangements and all the care, you’re kind of wanting a little bit more; a little bit more drama here and a little bit more adventure there might have made this a stunning listen. Still, this is a decent effort from Loch Lomond and those who embrace it will treat it as something to keep them going during the upcoming cold months.
Words: Max Raymond