Loch and Key
Los Angeles dream pop duo Loch & Key announced today they will release their sophomore album Slow Fade on Friday, October 27 in four formats: vinyl, compact disc, digital and thumb drive. Tour dates in support of the new album will be announced shortly.
Husband and wife team Sean Hoffman and Leyla Akdogan Hoffman—former member of critically acclaimed art rockers American Music Club & LA upstarts Bedroom Walls and multimedia visual artist, respectively— have crafted a lush, high fidelity and sonically ambitious follow-up album to their 2010 debut release, Jupiter’s Guide for Submariners. Slow Fade introduces touches of jazz and folk to a musical kaleidoscope of pop, ambient electronic, minimalist guitar shapes and distant vocals which coalesce into something familiar yet altogether original. Described as “dream wave,” their music stops a teaspoon short of saccharine and is a welcome addition to the dwindling fraternity of smart pop. Fans of Mazzy Star, Nick Drake, and Francoise Hardy can connect the musical dots constructing a surreal lyrical ode to their adopted home state of California. It’s an album both rich and vivid, stark yet full sounding, and unafraid to pay tribute to the many great American musical dialects. It’s the sound of faraway places, exotic daydreams and open road weariness. An aural cocktail that would make a superb companion for a quiet Sunday morning or a dreamy end to the perfect Saturday night.
It’s been more than half a decade since the LA Weekly called Loch & Key’s debut album, “A cottony travelogue wrapped up in the cocoon of Hoffman’s golden guitar shimmers and Akdogan’s dreamy wanderlust.” So, what have they been doing? Sean has been busy producing and mixing records from groups as varied as thrash metal trio Zig Zags to his slow burn side project Chaparral (with American Music Club bandmate Steve Didelot and Los Angeles stalwart Kip Boardman). The City of Angels keeps Sean neck deep in interesting musical situations— like playing (alongside Julia Holter and Nite Jewel) in a specially assembled all-star band backing Linda Perhacs’ performance of her cult favorite/record collector must-have album Parallelograms (reissued by Anthology Recordings in 2014), and backing up lo-fi psych-pop maestro Ariel Pink, LA punk icon Don Bolles (Germs) and comedian Neil Hamburger for a song poem tribute night performing alongside session ace Del Casher (Lawrence Welk/also inventor of the wah wah pedal) and veteran DC punk scene drummer Adam Wade (Shudder to Think).
Leyla has kept her hand in the art world while she completed law school—showing in galleries around Los Angeles, winning Best Micro-Short at the SoCal Independent Film Festival (2013) for her animated music video King of Silence (for fellow musician Mark Lane), creating the animated trailer for the LA Film Fest (featuring music by Flying Lotus), and was a featured artist for Brit + Co’s 2016 Re:Make Festival. As a practicing lawyer, she channels her progressive activism into serving the arts and modest means communities with sliding-scale representation and volunteer legal aid.
Slow Fade was professionally mastered by Dave Cooley (Light In The Attic) at Elysian Masters where the lacquers for vinyl were also cut on a refurbished & modernized Neumann VMS66 cutting lathe—the same 1966 model that cut the coveted early Led Zeppelin records and the last model where Neumann used discrete electronics. (Updated with a modern disk computer system and various electronic improvements, it outperforms in terms of soundstage, frequency response, and perceived depth.)