With their debut album Dreaming The Impossible, Five-piece and Devon-based band The Loft Club, originally formed in 2016, consist of Daniel Schamroth (guitar/vocals), Jamie Whyte (bass/vocals), Kieran Chalmers (drums), Josie Stoneman (vocals) and Sam Piper (lead guitar). Hitting the alternative scene, they’re an amalgamation of the likes of The Coral, Paul Weller (and a touch of The Magic Numbers) as well as a hint of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty with a dash of Pink Floyd. Over the course of their 12-track outing, these influences inevitably slip into their own individuality, alongside one or two tracks that feel a little dated, but overall there’s an accessible equilibrium with some strong and distinct songs that show us, more precisely, what the band are about.
Describing themselves as a ‘psychedelic’ indie band, I didn’t feel classic kaleidoscopic, but they do strive to vary their song writing. However, on a few occasions the lack of a signature sound distracts but, that being said, I always respect a band that endeavour to be different and The Loft Club go for this. In fairness, there’s only a minor blip early on, when we could easily lose a couple of tracks but I’ll come back to that and first, let’s pick out the positives which outweigh the minor issues.
Opening title track Dreaming the Impossible is a smart opener, exploring themes of drifting away with ideas and what’s to come alongside a catchy motif, in the realm of Tom Petty’s Mary Jane’s Last Dance, which filters in/out throughout the song, it’s a confident ‘keep trying’ track with a melodic centre-piece that merges into a wonderful soundscape blow-out that lets the music do the talking. It’s followed by the catchy Heard Her Say which is pure indie, with lead-singer Schamroth’s voice tangled up with Dylan, complete with ‘sha la la’s’ and more than an essence of the influences I felt that linger throughout. It’s radio friendly as its finest and very mid-late 90s.
While I’m Just a Man has a nice bass-deep opener, it’s a little dated in its themes and also very pop-catchy The Coral – when they were in that zone – and while this isn’t a bad thing, it’s a little pub rock in relation to the rest of the album, I feel like they’re better than this. It’s this one and the fourth True Love that almost lost me, which is a little too similar to the Magic Numbers and while the middle section ramps it up with a strong guitar that pulses through, these two are far too forgettable.
Happily, Keep Me Coming Home lifts the spirits instantaneously. There’s a superb opening hook and an inviting, natural vibe that fills the air and bring a sway back to proceedings. You feel like it’s a track written on the road, it’s thoughtful and (in the best possible way) doesn’t try as hard as the previous two, being equally mellow and packed with rhythm, the vocals loosened up and this hashitwritten all over it. With no sense of taking a breath, we delve straight into the also catchy and deeply summery Baby You’ll Be Fine. There’s a little more of The Coral here but also a lot of The Loft Club, with a truly foot-tapping melody bursting through the clouds and coasting through the listener with ease. This sounds like the band having a lot of fun, it’s immersed in expectation and energy, you sense the moment.
Let It Slide brings out the big production, You Are the Sun takes us off into another world with spirits of harmonic and melodic right from the start. It’s got an older, more timeless edge (a bit like The War on Drugs achieves so well) and really lets itself float through the ether, celebrating the soul of the band with dream-like memories, this needs the big stage. Made In England has an eerie Noel Gallagher vibe going on, from that early Definitely Maybe B-side era, then Flat Broke is the closest with get to Dylan/Pink Floyd with a Wish You Were Here-edge and probably doesn’t quite need it’s 5:37 runtime but would work better as a linking interlude before the big final tracks.
Waves provides us more of the initial promised psychedelic rock, with huge production and another early and very catchy bass/guitar drawl – I’m telling you folks, this is where you want to keep pushing towards because these are strong tracks and miles ahead of the lesser tracks. Once they hit the crescendo, heck, it’s feels like a historic moment and I honestly didn’t want it to end. There’s no doubt of their musicianship and when they’re confident, there’s massive potential to build upon. When they finish with Flicker, which features none other than Lisa Loeb, it’s got all the fire of the best lo-fi American indie, it’s strongly produced and sounds like the big time. This is just waiting for a big-screen movie soundtrack.
While in places not always ground-breaking, they excel more than disappoint by a long, long shot. I’m excited to see were The Loft Club go next because when they hit that peak of confidence, and really trust in their music, then they’re sky-high and beyond. This isn’t just dreaming the impossible, this is jammed packed with fiery potential and promising possibilities.