Even though we only speak to Loma’s Emily Cross down a phone line spanning the Pacific Ocean, we maintain the sense of vulnerably and humility behind this softly-spoken artist. Earlier in the year, the band put out a compelling debut album, which has carried them all the way to Europe on their first ever tour – a huge step early into their journey as a group. We took the opportunity to chat about this, and what inspired the first record.
“The band really started as a no-pressure situation, but towards the end we knew we were going to put it out on Sub Pop. Then we started feeling it a bit more,” explains Emily. She says they handled the burden of releasing through the iconic label relatively well though: “The pressure wasn’t there in a bad way; it just gave us a drive to get it done and create something of the right quality.”
It’s quite staggering to think that they’d barely been in a room together before setting out on their first tour. “We hadn’t had many rehearsals because we all live in different places, so we only rehearsed two times. Once in December and once right before the tour, so we figured everything out and practised for about a week and then went on tour.” She continues to detail that it was very much a work in progress: “It’s a little nerve-racking to do that, just because normally you’d have more time to figure things out, and we were trying to do that at the shows. We’ve found our flow now, though.”
The band will be playing at Rough Trade in Bristol this month. Emily says they didn’t ever imagine that the album would carry them so far. “Nobody had really seen us play before, so of course we were a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect. When people would even come along to the shows, even that was really exciting. The actual performance worked, which was a question mark as well. Everything came together and people showed up, which is the best we could hope for at the time.”
“We all live in different places, so we only rehearsed two times…”
It’s quite a transition from what Emily was doing before this project, as well. She says, “I’m a death doula, so away from the group I help with people who are dying. I have my own business for that, so I was working on that and being active in my community with that kind of thing. It’s all about being there for people and end-of-life care and things like that.” It’s quite a weighty profession and she reveals that it does impact her creative process. Emily pauses before continuing, “It’s something that has inspired me for a long time now, in my visual art as well, but before a couple of years ago, I’d never thought of it as any sort of career. I haven’t written any music since I became a professional but it does feed my creativity and inspires that work.”
Now the band are just happy to see where the project takes them, but there’s no hurry. Emily says, “I think we’re going to make another record, but I’m not sure when yet. I’m planning to do another solo record before that. My other project is called Cross Record. It’s more my personal music, that I make for myself, but also put out for other people. Hopefully that will take place between now and the next Loma record. So it’ll offer a little space to make the next one as strong as it can be.”
Loma’s self-titled debut is out now on Sub Pop, with them playing Rough Trade on 1st June.