Lauren Ross, AKA La Louma, is a Los Angeles-based classically trained multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer with a soulful queer-punk ethos, who “makes complex pop music sound effortless” (She Shreds). While she could be heard playing flute, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, and trumpet on St. Vincent’s debut album, Marry Me, in 2007, it wasn’t until 2017 that she released her own debut, Let The World Be Flooded Out. OUT Magazine called the album "a powerfully relatable 10-track breakout" and Billboard heralded it as “catchy and cool, but drenched with a call to action."
ABOUT THE ALBUM + LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
It is utterly exhausting keeping up an exterior smile when inside you feel the crippling, non-negotiable darkness of being lost in a deep cave. It’s confusing watching your identity evaporate, being seen by others in a way contrary to how you see yourself. It’s demoralizing being disoriented by society, the manipulative gaslighters in your life, and a depression that can’t be explained or shaken. The feelings are familiar.
For Lauren Ross, it took multiple breakdowns, lots of physical therapy, anti-depressants, and a move across the country before the clouds began to part, the music began to come, and La Louma emerged. On her debut, Let The World Be Flooded Out, she explores heavy subject matter in an upbeat atmosphere, merging her classical training with her DIY queer punk ethos.
Meticulously handcrafted over hundreds of hours of solitude, La Louma’s palette includes thickly melodic woodwinds and brass, electric guitar and bass, impatient drums, tremolo vocal undercurrents, and metaphor-laden lyrics. The LP’s tone repeatedly shifts unexpectedly from dramatic desperation to quiet contemplation, from a determined sprint to utter immobilization. Musically mirroring La Louma’s vagabond mind, each of the album’s richly transportive scenes are colored by carefully chosen modalities, timbres, instrumentations, and arrangements.
The opening track “The Decline of Nations” crashes through as a fist-raising call to “stay until you try to make things right”. As La Louma’s voice wails and breaks into a pointed and beautiful howl, it feels as though she could be singing to government officials, movement leaders, or even herself. Falling drum sticks and a slinking clarinet introduce "Candy", a mythology-driven song in which she vows to protect a narcissist from drowning in their own reflection—no matter the cost—while the more straightforward storytelling of the subtly Middle Eastern tinged "Just Wanna Love You" culminates in symphonic catharsis. The album's sonic anchor, "Tin Roof Now", makes use of nearly every instrument in La Louma's studio as she pleads for the simple sound of a heavy rain to "drown out [her] senses" and "let the world be flooded out".
This album is a thematic whirlwind with a musical hurricane to match, but isn’t that what life often feels like?
Let The World Be Flooded Out was released November 3, 2017 on BITCHWAVE
1. The Decline of Nations
2. Tin Roof Now
3. If We Don't Now We Never Will
4. Hear Me Out
5. Brother True
6. Just Wanna Love You
8. Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai
9. I Am Here I Am
10. Simple Things
Praise for Let The World Be Flooded Out
"very hooky and quite artfully constructed" — LA Weekly
"catchy and cool, but drenched with a call to action" — Billboard
"Ross [has an] ability to make complex pop music sound effortless"— She Shreds
""a powerfully relatable 10-track breakout" — OUT
"An impressive collection of politically-infused post-punk anthems cleverly interwoven with a healthy dose of melody" — Soundblab