Germany - Full Moon 235 - 10/27/15
Ms. John Soda
Ms. John Soda started out in the early 00s as Stefanie Böhm's (formerly of the band Couch) solo project, with Michael 'Micha' Acher (of the eminent The
Notwist) joining in soon after. Böhm and Acher (who had a project called Ogonjok back in the 90s) were part of the creative core/sphere tied to the German label/distributor/network/record
store Hausmusik, with bands/projects like Fred Stocker Quartet, Village of Savoonga (feat. Acher), the aforementioned Ogonjok, Fred is Dead, the fabulous Lali Puna, and many, many more.
Well, Stefanie had put a 7" called "Meine Welt In Schokolade" (Hausmusik) in 1998, but the duo put out their debut album, No P. or D. (on Morr Music) 13 years ago, which was followed
by the brilliant second album, Notes and the Like (Morr) in 2006. Then almost 9 years passed before this new album, Loom appeared. Welcome back!
Ms. John Soda - the 'duo' sometimes includes players (live, but also on some tracks on Loom) Thomas Geltinger, of Couch, and Christoph 'Cico' Beck, of Aloa Input, plus Norwegian
Karl-Ivar Refseth and Matthias Götz - present more of their chilled, yet warm electronica pop of the glazed, lazed and dazed kind from Thomas Morr's excellent Morr label (home of German
acts Lali Puna, B. Fleischmann, Styrofoam, Tied & Tickled Trio - the latter being another
outfit with Acher in the line-up; Icelanders múm and Seabear; US duo Electric President, and many, many more). They have been labelled/tagged 'indietronics',
and their musical vibe is a cool and comfortable one. Morr describes their third full-length like this: 'Something is looming on the horizon, a flickering
presence, a sparkle in the twilight, hardly visible at first, then slowly taking shape and finally coming into view: "I will depart/I see, I will, I won't go far..." ...'.
verb (used without object):
1. to appear indistinctly; come into view in indistinct and enlarged form;
2. to rise before the vision with an appearance of great or portentous size;
3. to assume form as an impending event;
4. a looming appearance, as of something seen indistinctly at a distance or through a fog (http://dictionary.reference.com)
Founder/composer/singer Stefanie Böhm and multi-instrumentalist/composer/programmer Micha Archer take on a new path not far from their old path with their new album. Loom sure
is a comfortable listen and a pleasant ride. Ten songs spin slowly for some 35 minutes. Ms. John Soda's trademark sound of slow-burning, discreet electro-pop is near pitch-perfect. Just
like always. To quote their label, the new album 'obviously hints at this feeling of re-emergence, gathering and looming, but according to Stefanie,
it also refers to a weaving loom'. Micha's melodic programming and Stefanie's ice-cool vocals make the songs become delicious dishes. Simple, but stylish and delicate stuff. Ms. John
Smith is almost the perfect blend of Ai Phoenix and The Notwist. To name some favourites here, I would mention "Hero Whales",
"Sirens", "Name It", "Oh Seven", and the glorious "Hi Fool". The last half of Loom is the better half, but the total is quite wonderful without being extraordinary. This is the perfect
music to kill the blue moods and the anxiety - or the angst - of a gloomy Sunday night. As Morr wonder/suggest 'Time to rest, to take a deep breath.
Or is it already the first rays of dawn looming on the horizon?'. Well, like Stefanie sings on "The Light": 'Start anew, refocus on ideas...'.
Ms. John Soda have returned for a new start. With blank sheets - waiting, hoping for something to happen. Forgiving, forsaking, forgetting. Giving in, getting on. Going on, taking off. Looking
for and, eventually finding happiness. Loom is the sound of a gently calming effect.
Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen