Lorna: Heart of Wire

[7 May 2013]

By Dave Heaton

PopMatters Associate Music Editor

I tend to think of them as a duo. Mark Rolfe and Sharon Cohen-Rolfe write songs together and sing them beautifully together. They sometimes sing like they’re having a conversation, sometimes as one voice, sometimes separately; their voices are always at the center of things. The music’s sense of calm helps elevate their presence. One of the most breathtaking moments on their fourth album, Heart of Wire, is the last 20 seconds of “November Kicks Again”, where the music drops out for them to sing together. But there are nine people listed in the credits, and their presence is integral to the mood and power of the album.

These are carefully arranged songs, with violin, cello, flute, guitars and more helping turn it into music that floats along and then rises, kicks unexpectedly but not abruptly. Lorna’s sound will lull you to sleep and then wake you up with a hook, a phrase, a drum sound. The songs have intimacy, in sound and lyrics; they focus on scenes/images, on dreams, on feelings of devotion (between lovers, between a fan and a star), of anticipation. A recurring theme is songs/sounds and their emotional power. Lorna comments on that while embodying it. As they sing at one point, “This is the sound of something happening.”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/171030-lorna-heart-of-wire/