The UK is producing some of its most sombre, innovative songwriters right now, answering societal unrest with cathartic ennui – an altogether very British phenomenon. Artists such as King Krule and Ghostpoet have given us seminal albums in recent years, challenging us with dark, troubled projects. R Loomes is one of the latest additions to this growing collection of morose balladeers.
Listen: R Loomes – Anomie
Anomie is a short, satisfying snippet of Loomes’ ability. It begins with ‘Bed For Your Wounds,’ a slow piece which sets the EP’s tone. Loomes’ repeated line ‘Bed For My Wounds’ is ambivalent, expressing both the comfort of healing, and sadness towards the injury that preceded it. Her voice is the main event, with alternative folk influences that allow her to explore a full vocal range over the top of sparse instrumentation. ‘Noonday Devils’ is another key track on Anomie. It aches with intensity, the simple guitar line allowing ambient sounds to build gradually as the tension rises. Loomes’ forte is simple picking, and dulled-out chords. This forms a textural loneliness, echoing the despondent lyrical content.
Staking out a solid place for this emerging songwriter, Anomie would sound at home in a darkened indie bar, an abandoned theatre or a derelict housing block. The tunes reverberate with thematic moods throughout, a statement of Loomes’ overarching emotion – in a word, as displayed on her Bandcamp – gloomy. This is a good EP to sink into for a few minutes on an overcast afternoon.