Exposé Online banner

Gretchen Lohse — Primal Rumble
((Not on label) no#, 2013, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-06-04

Primal Rumble Cover artAfter challenging my ears with the likes of Raoul Björkenheim or Zevious, sometimes I just need to take a break with something a bit more on the calm side. Sometimes it will be electronic music on the ambient side, sometimes it will be acoustic music. In the latter category, Gretchen Lohse is a good choice. She's a singer-songwriter with a pleasant voice of the breathy variety, and the arrangements provide enough interest to maintain my attention. Two of the ten tracks are Lohse by herself, on the others there are keyboards (piano, Wurlitzer, Mellotron), strings (Lohse herself handles violin and viola, a guest takes the cello), upright bass, banjo from time to time, and minimal percussion. Given the stripped down setting, the singing and lyrics really have to be good if the music is going to succeed. I find her voice soothing and engaging — the occasional awkward phrasing as she wrangles syllables into agreement with her melodies comes off as charming, and emphasizes the fact that she really cares about what she's singing. The words are important, and not to be sacrificed for the convenience of a simple melodic phrase. Barring more detailed study, I won't judge the lyrics beyond saying that many intriguing phrases draw my attention, and I've heard nothing to give me pause or question her wordsmithery. But it's the sensitive arrangements that really draw me in, giving hints of classic psychedelic folk without resorting to cliches or gimmicks. Lovely stuff!

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Gretchen Lohse

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Aquelarre - Brumas – South American reissues usually happen without too much fanfare, and such is the case with this, one of several albums by the 70s Argentinian band Aquelarre - yet this is one that definitely should...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues