Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Loft Club: “Heart’s Desire EP” (2016) CD Review

The Loft Club is a relatively new British band with a certain 1960s flavor to its music, which is rock with folk elements to certain tunes. Based in Exeter, the band consists of Daniel Schamroth on vocals and guitar, Jamie Whyte on bass and vocals, Kieran Chalmers on drums, Amy O'Loughlin on vocals and Dan Wright on guitar. Though The Loft Club is fairly new, this band was previously known as Daniel Schamroth And The British Wildflowers (apparently needing to change the name for legal reasons when they were signed to their label). The group’s debut release, Heart’s Desire EP, features all original music written by Daniel Schamroth.

The EP opens with its title track, “Heart’s Desire,” a catchy rock tune with a good groove and energy. “Step back, brother/Step back from your heart’s desire/Wash your mouth with soap and water/Dirty beggar, don’t speak your mind.” The band has released a music video for this song, which was shot in a museum. The EP also includes a remix of this song by Niklas Ibach, a young music producer based in Stuttgart, Germany. This rendition has quite a different feel, with an interesting intro and a different beat and tempo. It’s cool, though I prefer the original version. (By the way, there is also a music video for this version of the song, focusing on a dancer.)

“Heart’s Desire” is followed by “Flicker,” which has a prettier feel from the start, in the guitar work. It has something of a folk-rock vibe, and perhaps my favorite vocal performance of the CD. There is something warm and tender in the vocal delivery, a kindness and concern. “You flicker like a flame/You set the world on fire/Until you burn away/But it hurts me now/’Cause I feel your pain.” My favorite track, however, is “I’m Just A Man.” I love this one right from the start, with its great bass line, and that 1960s guitar like it’s ready to howl. And then when it kicks in, this song becomes something of a dance tune (maybe I’m crazy, but I could hear The Eurythmics doing this one). Yeah, this song has everything going for it. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “Give me two strong arms/So I can protect myself/Give me a long last drink/So I forget myself/You know I would cry for you/So why’d you ask me to.” And I love the guitar at the end.

Then “Sticks & Stones” begins with lyrics delivered a cappella, sounding beautiful. “It’s only sticks and stones/Rolling me the wrong way home/Tangled in your spinning wheel/Goes so fast you just can feel.” After the song kicks in, it develops a very positive sound. This is one I like more and more each time I listen to this disc. “I’ve played the victim, I’ve played the fool/It’s no beginner that you’re talking to.”

CD Track List
  1. Heart’s Desire
  2. Flicker
  3. I’m Just A Man
  4. Sticks & Stones
  5. Heart’s Desire (Niklas Ibach Remix) 
Heart’s Desire EP was originally released on October 14, 2016 through Lightyear Entertainment, initially without the fifth track. The fifth track was released in November.

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