For music fans, one of the most rewarding experiences of following a band can be hearing how that band changes and matures over time. Such is the case with By Light We Loom’s Caught in the Tide, the second EP by the Cleveland indie-pop pair.
Formed from the ruins of Bethesda just over one year ago, the duo’s sound is as lush as the six-piece folk band ever was on this record thanks to painstakingly crafted synth and guitar loops of Eric Ling and production from audio wizard Jim Stewart. Soaring over this ocean of electronic waves are the shimmering vocals of Shanna Delaney, exhibited brilliantly on the gentle ebb and flow of the album’s opening track, “The Scientist.”
“Normally we write stories from our own lives,” said Ling of the song, “ but this one was a historical story.” Inspired by the career of Thomas Lynn Bradford, a spiritualist from the 20th Century famously known for committing suicide in an attempt to learn about the afterlife, the bouncy nature of this song serves as a perfect counterpoint to the lyric’s darker story. Immediately, the tight, full sound of this cut shows how By Light We Loom has grown more comfortable expanding their sound since the release of their EP Ignition last year.
The synth loops gel with Ling’s echoing guitar well on the EP’s title track as well, conjuring a lighter, more ambient atmosphere than on the opening track. “Clouds Will Cover” continues this trend with percussive vocals, proving to be yet another highlight. As the EP closes with driving “Cardinal,” Delaney’s vocals take center stage, channeling the ethereal mystique of vocalists like Florence Welch.
With Caught In The Tide, By Light We Loom proves themselves to be a duo growing ever more comfortable in their music making and songwriting abilities with four glistening pop gems.
Caught in the Tide is available Jan. 12 on the group’s website and for streaming on Spotify. For those in the Cleveland area, snag a copy beforehand at the group’s EP release show at the Beachland Tavern on Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. The duo will be accompanied by local favorites These Knees and Joshua Jesty and the Death Panels.