It’s been nearly three years since post-rockers Loraine released their debut EP, An Autumn Evening, and in that time they’ve existed as something of a whisper and a promise. They’ve played some shows here and there, including a supporting slot opening for Pelican and Coliseum at the Masquerade in 2013, but they’ve lacked the sort of sustained activity that would keep them on the radar of the average local music fan. In July of the same year, they announced they would begin recording their first full length, Exist, but they soon encountered complications and the band was forced to switched studios to track guitars. That was followed by a year of relative quiet after which Loraine launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to have their record mixed, mastered and pressed. This enabled them to employ the services of engineer Mike Watts, known for his work with the likes of Tides of Man, The Dear Hunter and As Cities Burn, and a considerable boon to a young band trying to find their footing. With Watts at the production helm, work on on the record progressed far more quickly, and earlier this month, almost two years to the day they first entered the studio, Loraine announced their new LP was finally complete.
As for today’s premiere, it should be noted that a teaser for the “Qualm” video was first posted in February, although by accounts it appears the work has been completed for some time and the band has been waiting for an opportune moment to unveil it to the world. As it turns out, that moment is now. Directed by Isaac Lee, the video is a dark meditation on an attempted suicide and the chaos and the violence that can entail. The visuals are both haunting and beautifully shot, providing an evocative cinematic backdrop for Loraine’s stirring soundtrack. Musically, “Qualm” is an elegant, patiently sculpted track that utilizes the familiar post-rock stylings of quiet builds and roaring crescendos, but does so in a manner that is simple and direct. But in spite of the song’s no-frills construction, the tension-and-release dynamics undoubtedly remain, driving the action forward to its final destructive conclusion.