Wendy Allen and Scott Solter are the duo behind quirky ambient pop act Boxharp. The Loam Arcane EP is my first experience of the pair’s odd, but compelling soundworld. Each track in turn gets further and further away from conventional pop structures until the last, the tropical ambient instrumental “Who Are You People”, a piece that combines wooden percussion loops, field recordings and drifting synth drones.
The preceding triptych of songs all feature Allen’s sweet, but slightly skittish vocals. “FanFin” is a bit like (early) Throwing Muses if they’d been an electropop act, whereas “Rainbirds” has Fisher Price instrumentation supporting a tune that resembles a kind of folkish hymn. Weirder still, “The Postcard” is drugged and groggy, swaying about in a semi-conscious state.
Loam Arcane is a sweet little EP that shows that experimental pop needn’t sacrifice the pop element to be interesting and original. Unlike Little Roux, Florence Boots and their ilk, it shows there’s more to electronic pop than silly haircuts and rehashed eighties synth sounds.
1 FanFin 3:44
2 Rainbirds 3:15
3 The Postcard 3:25
4 Who Are You People (South Shoal) 5:43