Loving
If I Am Only My Thoughts


3.0
good

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
January 31st, 2020 | 19 replies


Release Date: 01/31/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Life is but a dream

There are plenty of bands that carefully toe the line between folk and psychedelia, but it’s been a long time since I’ve heard one dive in without reservation quite like Loving does on If I Am Only My Thoughts. The follow-up to their seven track self-titled debut, it immerses itself in placid dreams, starlit panoramic views, and hazy summer sunsets. It’s all things aesthetically pleasing; this wavy, ambient trip that bends itself around entrancing soundscapes and breathtaking melodies. Basically, it’s the perfect album to trust-fall into: just close your eyes, lean back, and sink into it like a soft cloud.

All of this surely sounds wonderful, and in most ways it is. Lead vocalist Jesse Henderson’s endearingly timid, lo-fi vocals take a back seat to the instrumentation, which consists primarily of weightless percussion, dizzying synthesizers, iridescent piano loops, and finger-plucked acoustics. All of this blurs together delightfully and rings out with clarity, while sliding effortlessly across the production’s smooth and finished gleam. The end result in a lush psych-folk garden that constantly beckons to whisk you away into its spinning, hypnotic little globe.

Even down to its title, however, If I Am Only My Thoughts feels a little too self-aware. It wears its influences on its sleeve, sounding at times like an amalgamation of psychedelic adages – as if they are checking off boxes. The lyrics predictably wax poetic about dreams, reality, and all things vaguely existential without truly digging deep enough to arrive at any original realization. The impression one walks away with, at least at times, is that everything was done on purpose to achieve a very specific aesthetic. Of course that’s almost always the case when an artist sets out to record, but as the listener, it shouldn’t be so easy able to see through the smoke and mirrors.

If I Am Only My Thoughts is an elegant album end-to-end, but one that ultimately feels slightly hollow. It seems to be a prime example of “style over substance”, which often allows a piece to sound stunning in the moment only to wane from memory when it isn’t being constantly refreshed. With additional soul-searching, Loving could soon arrive at their diamond-in-the-rough – but for now, If I Am Only My Thoughts is just a beautiful cut of cubic zirconia.



s
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user ratings (17)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
January 31st 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A pretty little thing, but nothing most of us haven't heard before. If you're especially into soft/ambient music with a psychedelic edge, then you should add this to your list.

Digging: Ellis - Born Again

WatchItExplode
January 31st 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Damn Sowing you're more machine than man. I was also trying to avoid inflated ratings this year but I couldn't stop smiling while listening to this and immediately listened again.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 31st 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey don't get me wrong, I do enjoy it quite a bit. I've been a lot stricter with ratings since the beginning of 2020, so this got the big ol' 3 because I think it's good but not necessarily "great." Might grow with more spins, obviously. I think this falls into the category of albums that have mass 3-3.5 appeal.

SuperMatt
January 31st 2020


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Never heard of this band before but they got me hooked by the time the second track was over. This is right up my alley, even if it felt a bit monotone at certain points. Write a River is such a sweet song.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2020


12015 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I came for the folk and didn't find much reason to stick around.

WatchItExplode
February 1st 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

If your looking for more than transient good feels yeah not here.

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 1st 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There's something to be said for sheer aesthetics, and in that regard I can certainly see a higher score justified.

WatchItExplode
February 1st 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Gots that am radio warmth with a wavy psychedelic sheen and I want it on steady drip.



Also gotta say how impressed I am with how this review totally encapsulates what this thing is with such a small window of listening and writing time. I've always been impressed with your volume but wow.

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 1st 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man means a lot. I've been enjoying the overlap in musical interests lately, I do plan to spin this a few more times to see if it will grow a bit. Warmth is a great way to describe this and I keep finding myself wanting to immerse myself in it one more time.

WatchItExplode
February 2nd 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I initially didn't realize that everything about this project is totally telegraphed but it hasn't impaired my enjoyment of it whatsoever. Working on half a dozen listens now.

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 2nd 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is my best '3' of the year. So immersive and welcoming. Not sure if it actually warrants a score bump yet but I adore the atmosphere.

FuzzyThoughts
February 3rd 2020


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looking forward to checking this out; I'm definitely a fan of psychedelic music.

FuzzyThoughts
February 3rd 2020


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some great atmosphere here, but I think I agree with the 3.0 rating overall.

NorthernSkylark
February 3rd 2020


9796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

THEN



WAKE ME



UP

Digging: Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

nuklearmoose
February 4th 2020


37 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice guitar on the album, but I'll probably have to listen to again for it all to click. Decent though.

DamnVanne
February 5th 2020


3283 Comments


I’ll occasionally step into some folk music, but on this site the first mention of the word halts any further investigation

Digging: Sigrid - Raw

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 5th 2020


33646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How does that make sense lol

Sunnyvale
February 8th 2020


1387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is growing on me hard, beautiful stuff

WatchItExplode
February 8th 2020


7886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

If you just let it wash over you it's about as good as it gets



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