Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
This is a little like going through the desert on a horse with no name and feeling good to be out of the rain. This is a little like finding a yellowed up old map or a rubberband-ed stack of ancient photographs underneath a creaky floorboard in a dying house and either following the map to where it leads or looking through those photographs and feeling as if you know all of those ghosts posing within them. This is like putting on the old sweaters of a dead man and forgetting that you're doing such. This is like getting caught up in a snowstorm or a buffalo stampede - perhaps even, both of those things happening at the same time, just to add to the effect. The Loom is a Brooklyn band that makes us believe that they're the fathers and mothers of our cold and jagged memories, those that may or may not even be our memories for they feel so distant. They make us believe that they are the keepers of or the mediums for the tangled and tattered old thoughts that give us pause as we sit down to consider that maybe we do have souls that are dated well beyond the years that we're given credit for having lived. They make us feel as if reincarnation is no longer just a hunch, but a real possibility. These scents and tastes that we experience are hardly our own. They are borrowed. John Fanning and new, co-vocalist Sarah Renfro make us into the believers that we never thought we'd be, making songs that sound as if they have multiple lives, many of which are taking us into the crawl spaces of what feel to be dusty, turn of the century homes, ones with horsehair in the wall materials. They take us into these leaning homes with drafts throughout that make the north winds even more chilling. We just want to build fires right in the frost-bitten centers of them, but they help us out by regularly doing that exact thing for us, stoking the fires as the nerves just can't take it any longer. The people in "The First Freeze" are wobbly and shook up, struck at from all different angles, not so much asking, but pleading with another, "So, call off the dogs," and within the line, we hear it as if it were coming at the expense of a final gasp, a hint that if this goes unheard, so will she. It will be the last, the finale. It feels as if many of the people residing in the songs of The Loom have seen better days or are in need of a pick-me-up, something to reenergize the inner parts of them that they've had amputated against their wills. They rouse themselves when they can. They howl up at an inanimate moon and they chant the same words over and over, "Something in the changing of the seasons will make us more alive," believing that in three months - if they can make it that long - there will be something to look forward to. And if that doesn't work, what's another three months of waiting?