By Joe Manock
With Simple Tenderness is an accomplished debut album by loz; packed with boxy, punchy rhythms and beautiful pitch-shifting vocals. The man behind this record, loz, boasts a formidable array of descriptors: ‘Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, Producer and Music Educator’. This project is the dazzling expression of a life’s commitment to music and he’s just getting started.
Listening to loz is an audio experience simultaneously blissful and melancholic, uplifting, but in a submerged and downtrodden way. Such emotional fullness makes the album multi-functional; I could listen to this thing anywhere, on a Sunday morning run, raving into the night, in transit, cooking a nice meal. You name it, I’m sold.
Expect an eclectic mix of genres. The record is furnished with drum and bass, garage, and house – to name but a few. The title track lures you in with pulsating high notes, interrupted by dispirited puffs of a melody. Then, at 0:53, loz delivers the first of many surprises, you, as the listener, are plunged into an ocean of synths accompanied by a great beat with strong direction (a hallmark feature of this project).
Mario Kart, Mozart and glitchy manipulations
‘Potomac’ delivers a hypnotic melody overlapped with luxurious pianos. Listening to this, I imagined somehow strutting across Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road, only without the kart bit: just me and limitless space. Moving forward, ‘So Beautiful’ starts so beautifully! In the intro, loz uses his piano skills to great effect, it’s as if Mozart was adopted by David Icke and told ‘hey man, have you thought of this?’ loz is a master of peaks and troughs, the subsequent whirring alarm beat on this track gets your head bopping
Meanwhile, ‘Forgive Me Love’ establishes a haunting atmosphere, centered on whaling and distant vocals. These vocals sound as if a siren, accustomed to luring in sailors, was catapulted to the present day and forced to entice disillusioned members of gen-z instead. ‘Told Me’ has a hellishly intoxicating start which sounds like something pulled straight from The Dark Knight soundtrack. The explosive chorus on this track is tremendously catchy and gets under your skin, the use of glitchy manipulations here is a nice touch.
An immersive audio experience
The track ‘Out of My Way’ is a jewel-encrusted triumph. A shuffling drum and bass rhythm, with warped, pitch-corrected vocals which sound magically distant, as if they are lurking on a kind of sonic horizon. The closing act of the album is supercharged with emotion and finishes in a contemplative mood. The bass notes on ‘Epilogue’ constitute the definition of ‘vibe’.
With Simple Tenderness is an enveloping album. It’s nothing less than an immersive audio experience. The flow of the record is spaced out expertly and strikes a balance between atmospheric and bouncy energy. Sometimes hypnotic, sometimes electrifying; the combined impact of listening to the album as a whole is powerful.
Click here to listen to With Simple Tenderness in whichever way your heart desires.