Published Feb 12, 2020Katie Gately's love of sound shines brighter than ever on her new LP, Loom. This beautiful collection was recorded during a period of deep sadness and grief for Gately, during her mother's sudden cancer diagnosis and immediately following her death.
Gately demonstrates immense talent in her ability to translate unspeakable pain into layered, dynamic sound collages. Live recordings of an earthquake are woven throughout the album, emblematic of the way the Earth shifts when one experiences such a profound loss. A feeling of heaviness pervades the album, with pounding drums and electronic pulses creating a feeling of menace — indeed, of looming.
Yet despite all of this terror and pain, the melodic pop sensibilities Gately first demonstrated on her previous LP, Color, remain. Album highlight "Bracer" (her mother's favourite) is a ten-minute musical journey, shifting from eerie, churning menace ("Beast gonna take your light away / Beast gonna haunt your home / Beast gonna rip at the slightest fray") to melodic, almost danceable avant-pop. Gately's dreamy vocals are featured more prominently here than in her previous work, and are especially impressive in the trio of mournful choral chants that frame the record, "Ritual," "Rite" and "Rest."
With this album, Gately set out to "capture the weird spikey nature of this kind of looming doom, but also to include some absurd colours," and the result is a swirling mix of eerie atmosphere, devastating emotion and brilliant sonic abstraction. It is Gately's best work yet. (Houndstooth)