Album review: The Loft Club – Dreaming The Impossible

Album review: The Loft Club Dreaming the Impossible

Album review: The Loft Club Dreaming the Impossible - Credit: Archant

A smattering of plum tracks on a debut that borrows from Britpop and beyond.

Album review: The Loft Club Dreaming the Impossible

Album review: The Loft Club Dreaming the Impossible - Credit: Archant

Forming in Exeter in 2016, within three years this five-piece had bagged an opening slot for Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds. With this clutch of retro-inspired tunes it’s not hard to see why, shot through as they are with nods to both Britpop’s glory days and the ‘60s and ‘70s sounds of the British Invasion and US Mid-West.

Frontman and songwriter Daniel Schamroth describes their debut as “an album for the purists”, by which he means himself – one of “those old-school romantics who still practices the art of donning the headphones and consuming an album from start to finish”.

If you do take a leaf out of his book, steel yourself through the title track; a mid-paced, mid-‘90s nugget of ponderous lyrics, it attempts to hold its own with a central refrain of ‘ooh-woo-oooh’ while tambourines shake rhythmically over a locomotive, half-danceable drum beat.

Probably great when you’re half cut in a field, it’s just OK on record and sits among a few, more lumpen offerings here.

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True Love is another curious choice for a recent single – a mellow but deeply uninspired arrangement plodding around some equally lacklustre vocals from Schamroth that don’t do his lyrics justice.

But wait. True Love isn’t helped being sandwiched between the sharp, bass-driven R&B of I’m Just A Man and the breezy, US jangle-pop of Baby You’ll Be Fine – both of which feel fresh and energetic despite recycling old tropes.

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You Are The Sun warms the bones with mellifluous guitar eddies, light-touch percussion and vocal flourishes from singer Josie Stoneman (who feels curiously underused elsewhere), and Let It Slide, with its pulses and crashes of guitar, drums and psych-lite solos, would slot seamlessly into any number of Britpop guitar bands’ LPs.

Waves has all the hallmarks of an album closer as intensity and pace build towards a mini-crescendo of guitars – only for Grammy-winner Lisa Loeb to pop up in pacey duet Flicker to bookend the record.

Incongruous it may be, but the lovestruck and lively jumble of jangly guitar and purring vocals is an unashamedly fun, first-love fantasy surely stolen from a US teen drama when it wasn’t looking.

There’s more than a little potential here, if the band can harness it. For now, this is a capable, if not always captivating, hit of nostalgia.

3/5 stars.

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