Thorin Loek Goes There With In This Place LP
Journeying into Thorin Loek’s full length project In This Place is like voyaging into nature. You’ve never heard so many songs start off with the sound of water, rain drops, whistling winds, and other such picturesque traces of nature before. Even a casual gander at his song titles (“Ice Age”, “Open Sky”, “Let it Rain”, etc.) reinforces this thematic device that dominates this album, transporting you to another place and time.
Yet for all of his au natural elements, it’s the tune that’s most sculpted, shaped, and polished with digital production that stands out the most by far. Granted “Tonight” begins with the gentle sounds of waves distantly crashing, but that soon gets overtaken by a catchy four-on-the-floor acoustic sounding kick and the most accessible, radio friendly of snares—far to clean to be a true rim shot, yet unmistakably palatable to the ear.
Moreover, it features Theras Wood on background vocals, easing her way behind Loek in the booth. The drums are immaculate, the tune moves well, it’s an unabashed love song, and has many of the makings of a bonafide hit record—particularly with his omnipresent acoustic guitar, without which none of these tracks would likely exist.
Speaking of which, it’s just that instrument that makes “All That’s Left” runner-up for the cut of the album award. Unlike the majority of the other songs there are no backing strings, synths, or even drums. Instead, it’s just a man and his guitar, nobly carving a path into your memory with a small, quiet song that wins with its simplicity.
Vocally Loek has quite a distinct style. His voice has a malted depth to it befitting of any baritone, but with a proclivity for the most pointed high notes seemingly stemming from nowhere. As previously noted, it’s usually bathed in his strumming guitar adorned with synths or keys that expand the tracks, occasionally contracting with them as well.
At times he uses this confluence for a folksy effect like on “Open Sky”, which maintains a staid demeanor with a copious helping of strings likely supplied by violinist Johnson Cheung. But it’s his guitar that opens and closes this collection, and which will remain with you long after it’s played.