La Louma is the new pop project of multi-instrumentalist Lauren Ross. Classically trained on woodwind instruments, as a teenager she expanded into guitar (and later bass) when she realized its capacity to allow her to play multiple notes. Her early forays into melody have continued to shape her music, which often relies more on single notes and layers of melodies vs. traditional chords.
In November Ross (a former collaborator of St. Vincent) will make her debut as La Louma with Let The World Be Flooded Out, via Bitchwave, the feminist/queer collective and label she co-runs in Los Angeles. The album is the result of an intensive, detailed creative process, during which Ross wrote and recorded parts for vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, and a mix of woodwinds and brass.
“Just Wanna Love You,” the second single to be released from the album (following the jittery punk opening track, “The Decline of Nations”), combines pop sensibilities, influences from Middle Eastern music, and Ross’ penchant for crafting melodies and countermelodies. ““The main guitar part is fun to play, especially because of the natural pitch variation that comes from bending the notes a little differently every time,” she says. “Because I have no willpower when it comes to melodies, I didn’t stop myself from adding three additional countermelodies on guitar over the course of the rest of the song.”
With its core of strong hooks and a jubilant, danceable bass line, the song shows Ross’ ability to make complex pop music sound effortless, no matter how deeply she explores time signatures and rhythms throughout the track. And in the end, it all serves the overarching themes of the song, which centers around the rollercoaster of emotions that come from feeling trapped in a relationship that isn’t working anymore.
“I love this contrast, this fight, this tension—this feeling of two parts being drawn away from each other (one in a noisy escape and the other in a slow retreat),” she says. “The opposing guitar and bass guitar parts there represent my heightening frustration and my sinking depression. I always love having my instrumentation and arrangements tell stories—not just my lyrics.”
Listen to “Just Wanna Love You” now. Let The World Be Flooded Out comes out on November 3.