In the two years since Somni released his first full-length, Bloom, a handful of singles have dribbled through, but Home has been on the radar for some time. The UK-born, L.A.-based Somni (aka Leo Shulman) has been mired in music and instrumentation most of his life, studying classical guitar and learning percussion, bass and piano.
His sound is a mash of mixtape, home recording, experimental arrangements and instrumentation, and his influences are clear: the L.A. beat scene, and luminaries like Flying Lotus, Shlohmo, Amon Tobin, A Tribe Called Quest and the late J Dilla.
What initially got him in to songwriting, however, were artists like Cat Power and Elliott Smith, and Home is an embodiment of past and present influences that sparked his interest in songwriting and production. That’s one of the first things that comes across on Home — its hazy, lo-fi beats akin to past and present artists in the L.A. beat scene.
That said, the album also has a sheen, a wash that lightens each track, whether it be through airy vocals and melodies on tracks like “One Last Time,” “Home” and “Shine,” or the lithe infusion of unconventional instrumentation like the melodica, toy piano, accordion and zither. With this second release it’s clear Somni has made a name for himself as one to watch. (Friends of Friends)
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