Loom is a brave and raw document from the frontlines of grief, exhibiting the full range of its manifestations beyond sadness – its vacancy, rage and disorientation, delivered with a sweet disposition, enchanting you into a greater and richer awareness of what lies beneath, revealing deep beauty in the collision of exhilarating creativity and inevitable doom.
The folk inflection and multiplicity of Gately’s vocals make the album seem ancient. Or conjured. The songs aren’t ghostly as much as they feel witnessed, imbued with a palpable presence. ... Gately has sampled and mixed in her mother’s voice with her own, as if in acceptance of the balance of life and death. This co-existence – or the yearning for it – is ingrained in this astonishing album as a freshly carved cut in a foundational wooden beam. [Mar 2020, p.48]
With this album, Gately set out to "capture the weird spikey nature of this kind of looming doom, but also to include some absurd colours," and the result is a swirling mix of eerie atmosphere, devastating emotion and brilliant sonic abstraction. It is Gately's best work yet.
The album features samples of earthquakes, shovels, shredders and screaming peacocks – an industrial-era Bosch painting turned into music. This nightmare is expertly arranged throughout, though in the second half the maximalism starts to feel like a means of papering over weak songwriting.