Hey Weirdo! is the strangely gentle and gently strange second album from multi-national outfit Loomings, now based in Strasbourg. The album arrives a mere four years after their debut, which was on the now seemingly sadly defunct AltrOck label. This one is independently released, and continues the subtle meanderings through a displaced Canterbury via Europe endless. Less forceful than its predecessor, it exudes an easy confidence where Everyday Mythology maybe tried just a little too hard to impress.
Led by drummer, programmer, singer, and composer Jacopo Costa, these beguiling tunes will send you off into a state of bliss, an audio massage for those with an appreciation of the strange art of contrapuntal rhythms and left-field songcraft.
After the short a cappella intro, we are into The Slap, a tale of sexual jealousy delivered in a slightly Zappaesque fashion, multi-vocal parts carrying out a conversation atop jazz-inflected finger-poppin’ rhythms and sonorous vibes conveyed by synths and piano. Elsewhere we have a list on the failings of religion, the crazy pace of modern living, and love as an addiction. And we’re only halfway through the album.
The two female intertwined voices, with the occasional addition of Jacopo Costa’s narrations and harmonies, provide an extra layer of instrumentation. In fact, they are the main focus of attention throughout. The mini-choir serves to relay the well thought out lyrics, which, considering they were written in Jacopo’s second language put many native English lyricists to shame.
When the multi-faceted keyboard-led instrumentation (there’s is no six-string guitar on this album) does breakthrough, as towards the end of the beguilingly odd Hypnotic, we are shown how this band are no slouches in the technical department. A special mention must be made of Jacopo’s rhythm twin, bassist Nicholas Klee, who plays the many seemingly bewilderingly complex runs with the ease of a lounge band four-stringer playing a 12-bar.
The sudden and, up to this point, atypical agitation of the title track awakes one from the pick-up bar called Cerchi at the corner of Hatfield and Zappa. Multi-part vocals are driven by insistent rhythms and bubbling bass in a way that will have you twitching those reversible thumb joints.
Hey Weirdo! is a fine album that is well worthy of your attention.
“Kid, don’t worry, that’s OK, go your way, hear me saying,
I like your style and to me you’re OK, go your way, go on
Hey weirdo! Hey weirdo!”
That’s the spirit, you tell ’em. Non-conformity is the new normal ’round here, and that’s what keeps me sane in these surreal and dangerous times.
01. listen (0:20)
02. The Slap (6:28)
03. All Hail (6:19)
04. Sick Notes (3:51)
05. The High Bar (4:03)
06. Hypnotic (7:50)
07. To and Fro (4:07)
08. Cerchi (4:03)
09. Hey Weirdo! (4:42)
10. Stratification (2:51)
11. Wonder and Delusion (7:37)
Total Time – 52:13
Maria Denami – Vocals
Clara Weil – Vocals
Matthieu Mazué – Electric Piano, Grand Piano, Synth, Electric Organ
Nicolas Klee – Electric & Acoustic Bass, Bass Synth
Enrico Pedicone – Drums, Vibes, Electronics, Samples
Jacopo Costa – Vibes, Drums, Samples, Programming, Vocals
~ Guest Musicians:
Bertrand Eber – Trumpet
Nicolas Jean – Trombone
JB Juszczak – Alto sax
Paul Schwartz – Tenor sax
Rémi Psaume – Baritone sax
Record Label: Soleil Mutant
Country of Origin: Multi-national
Date of Release: 4th May 2019