Writing Down Things to Say

Words on Music

Subtlety is a keyword when it comes to describing Lorna’s Writing Down Things to Say. Even more so than the English band’s gorgeous predecessor, 2005’s Static Patterns and Souvenirs, the disc’s music floats by like a gentle autumn wind. Again, 4AD and various slowcore touchstones crop up along the album’s path; most notably, early Mojave 3 is ingrained in tracks like “Look Left” and “A Place That We Can Go.” Both have dreary folk strums, a sparse rhythm section and wounded vocal interplay between the male and female lines. Singers Mark Rolfe and Sharon Cohen-Rolfe have wonderfully complimentary voices that strike chords anywhere between commiseration and accusation.

While it’s nice to have a UK band pick up the slack Mojave 3 left behind when they opted for sunnier sounds, Writing… isn’t all bleak. “(I Wish I Knew) How to Build a House” is a fine slice of electro-acoustic warmth, which percolates with upbeat strumming and wistful synth percolations; “Not in My Lighthouse,” to a lesser extent, exhibits these characteristics too.

If anything, the album ultimately too closely embodies that fleeting breeze. Too many of the tracks, while pleasant when they’re playing don’t leave much of a lasting impression beyond the ghostly remnants of a good, melancholy feeling.

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