Band To Watch: Lomelda
For as long as she can remember, Hannah Read has been using music to find common ground. She picked up the guitar at an early age to be more like her brother and sister, who both played, and she had her dad teach her the chords. One of the first songs she learned was Don McLean’s classic “American Pie,” and she’s been playing music pretty much ever since. The name Lomelda dates back to high school, and the project has taken on different iterations over the years. In its current form, Read serves as the magnetic center for muscular and vulnerable folk songs. In 2015, she released Lomelda’s debut album, Forever, an emotionally intense slowburn that garnered her a fair amount of fans, among them the members of Pinegrove, who took her on tour earlier this year and who she’s opening for this fall, shortly after the release of her forthcoming sophomore album, Thx.
“Music connects me with people who I wouldn’t have an easy way to talk to otherwise,” Read tells me from Phoenix, AZ, where she’s taking a pit stop on her way to visit California for the first time. It’s a long drive from her hometown of Silsbee — the small Texas town where she grew up and currently resides with her family — but Read likes the open road. You sort of have to when you’re from a place where long drives are usually the only way to get around, especially if you’re interested in pursuing music as passionately as Read is. There were a few other bands around growing up — “Everybody needs some rock ‘n’ roll in their lives, even small town Texas folks,” she jokes — but the four-hour trek to Austin has become a regular facet in Read’s life, especially after Lomelda started in earnest while she was in Waco for school a couple years ago and before she moved back home.
It makes sense, then, that the music Read makes as Lomelda is a perfect fit for the open road. The first single from her new album, “Interstate Vision” (which you can listen to above), turns the act of driving into a spiritual event. “Headlights scare me into visions/ I saw an angel fly on bright white wings guiding me home,” Read sings dryly, treating the beautiful mundanity of the highway the same as she would a spectacular and otherworldly apparition. It’s not really the road itself that Read loves, though, but what it represents: the idea of going somewhere, coming from somewhere, heading towards something. Her music is grounded by a constant search for home, the sort of stasis that…