Homecoming: On Somni’s Home

Chris Daly evaluates the beatmaking and bedroom pop pulsating through the Los Angeles producer's newest release.
By    April 2, 2020

Uniting home offices and studios all over the world. Please support Passion of the Weiss by subscribing to our Patreon.

Chris Daly will be live streaming his next acid trip, but if you haven’t been sent the link, you’re not invited.

On his sophomore release, Home, Friends of Friends artist, Somni, expands on the lush sound he created on Bloom.  The L.A.-by-way-of-Hampshire beat smith is perfecting the audio interpretation of nostalgia. Utilizing pitched vocals, field recordings, tape manipulation and a few new compatriots, aka Leo Shulman magically recreates backyards filled with fireflies, lemon-aide stand shenanigans and summer dinners at Grandma’s.

Ironically, for an album that trucks so heavily in feeling like your favorite yesterday, Home represents an obvious step forward for the young artist.  Somni moves from straight beat music to incorporate a more bedroom pop-approach, but make no mistake–this is Somni claiming his lane, not floundering for a new one. Shulman names Low End Theory luminaries as a large part of his inspiration, and it shows, not in a jacked sound sense, but in a shared loved for the strange aural possibilities of electronic music. The instrumental tracks sound like a more polished, early Shlohmo.

With its metronome beat and lilting guitar, “Going Back” finds a fading in and out of the spritely vocals. “Medicine” uses a toy accordion and manipulated chanting. Neither would sound out of place on Bad Vibes or Camping. It’s where Leo ventures into a more “traditional” song structures (the joints with the vocals) that he really shines.  “One Last Time” is as close as the album veers towards FM radio friendly, but the twee vibe ensures it’s probably only the cool college radio kids that will experience its subtle beauty first. The eponymous single’s craftsmanship lies in its deceptive simplicity.  A basic programmed beat gives way to humming and whistling that embody the lyrics, “Well I could go home if I want to/And then what?”  Not content to merely recycle the past, Somni instead builds upon it to further hone his sound.

“While this album is about coming home in a very real sense, it’s also representative of coming home to some of the earlier influences that sparked my interest in songwriting when I was a kid, and the impact that just a simple melody over some chords can have,” said Shulman.  “At their heart these songs stem from my roots and my initial spark for music.”

And it shows.

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!