Listen to Loamlands's Poignant New Folk Album 'Sweet High Rise'
'Sweet High Rise' is a folk album to its core, with a few punk flourishes here and there.
Loamlands, a DIY folk-punk band from North Carolina, is Kym Register and Will Hackney. You might recognize Register from their previous band, Midtown Dickens, a folk quartet responsible for songs like "Only Brother" or "Walk, Don't You Run." The band operated from 2009 until they decided to take an indefinite hiatus in 2013. Since then, Register has been focused on two things: running Pinhook, a bar which opened in 2008 but was taken over by Register in 2011, in Durham, North Carolina, and Loamlands, their latest musical outlet with friend and former Midtown Dickens bandmate Will Hackney.
It's really easy to compare Loamlands to Fleetwood Mac, because it's really easy to compare almost any band that sounds remotely like Fleetwood Mac to Fleetwood Mac! But considering that Stevie Nicks is such an influence on Register (they have Nicks's name tattooed), it's less a comparison and more a nod to the actual influence Nicks's music had on Register.
Though the record is very much written to directly address North Carolina, the people in the Durham DIY scene, and the area's long history with LGBT communities and police violence, the themes Register and Hackney wrestle with throughout—queerness, police violence, bigotry and general intolerance to those who refuse to adhere to any kind of binary—are poignant no matter where you live. Sweet High Rise is a folk album to its core, with a few punk flourishes here and there.