Seven Bar and Kitchen will be playing host to a familiar sight on Tuesday, September 22nd when Portland-based chamber-pop band Loch Lomond returns to Santa Barbara for the first time since 2011. As confirmed by frontman Ritchie Young, the performance will feature several songs from the band’s forthcoming 2016 album Pens from Spain, their sixth full-length release.
For a band like Loch Lomond that eschews the prototypical manner of writing and producing new music, these few years in between central coast appearances have allowed them to further develop their sound for the new album.
“There are a few songs that remind me of our last couple records, but it’s a little more diverse,” says Young. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, and I don’t think that I’d be the person to do that.”
If they aren’t innovative, the band is at the very least atypical in the way they approach writing new music. Avoiding conventional music notation, Young writes all the lyrics and constructs abstract outlines for songs before the rest of the nine-person band comes in to shape the end result with their respective instrumentation and elements. The seasoned frontman elaborated on the upcoming 2016 album by comparing it to their first studio release, When We Were Mountains, from 2004.
“It reminds me of the first record we did, because it was a full studio record. We never had a band practice, it was fully written in the studio. [Pens from Spain] is a little more electronic, and I think they kind of want us to go back to that a little bit.”
During their time away from the west coast, Loch Lomond spent two years touring Europe, an experience that helped drive forth the motivation for the new album.
“We were sitting around drinking tea and whiskey and recording for four or five days in a row,” says Young, “and I was just thinking about how weird life is. As the son of a mechanic and beautician, to be touring with people from all over the world, I just felt so lucky.”
Although the band has been performing regularly for over a decade, there has been regular turnover between members. As the sole founder, Young has been the ever-steady constant since he first started Loch Lomond as a solo recording project in 2003.
“We have people cycle in and out, but the core group is a large group,” says Young. “Every tour is wildly different, though, because we have a rotating cast of band members.”
Remarking on the time since their last Santa Barbara performance, the almost-40-year-old says there aren’t as many gray hairs as he expected, but he’s more optimistic and fully recharged since their 2011 show at the Mercury Lounge.
Loch Lomond play Seven Bar & Kitchen. Tuesday 9/22. 8 p.m. Free. 224 Helena Ave., Santa Barbara. Call 805-845-0377 or visit sevensb.com