CD Review – Two Loons for Tea – Looking for Landmarks

Two Loons for Tea
Looking for Landmarks

When Looking for Landmarks was released in September, the buzz was relatively small. That’s probably because the second independent album from Two Loons for Tea was released on Sarathan Records, a label on which the band makes up the entire company’s roster.

Despite the small amount of attention the Seattle-based group has received from mainstream media, this DIY effort is worthy of repeat play.

Seattle, where the Loons call home, is well known for the early ’90s grunge-rock of Nirvana and Pearl Jam rather than the smooth beats of Two Loons. And upon first listen of the album, one may mistake the band for another British trip-hop spin-off to Massive Attack instead of a band that hails from the land of coffeehouses.

Two Loons for Tea are Sarah Scott and Jonathan Kochmer. Scott’s voice sounds like a cross between smooth jazz and the grittier, emotion-filled crooning of Louise Rhodes of the Scottish duo Lamb.

Her sensual vocals are complemented by ambient guitar and drums played by Kochmer, who experiments with a blend of jazz, rock, electronica and trip-hop sounds.

The first few tracks have a very smooth and transient rock feel. “Blue Suit” and “Sad Diamonds” are the most play-worthy tracks on the album. Track seven, “The Shape of Strange,” expands the Two Loons’ boundaries even more by adding a bit of funk feel to the mix.

However, the two gems of this album, both musically and lyrically, are the last two songs, “The Prisoner” and “This Mortal Rodeo.”

“The Prisoner” has an eerie, haunted sound created by guitar reverb and piercing vocals. “This Mortal Rodeo” begins with an Oriental-sounding violin course and slides into a hypnotic guitar riff that repeats throughout the song.

And with lyrics such as “Question your worried laughter/forget the disguise/celebrate the contour of this life/your mortal purpose, aching for flight,” one gains a sense that Two Loons are more sophisticated than the average pop act.

If you enjoy Portishead, Massive Attack, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Lamb, or just want to own some laid-back music to study with, Two Loons for Tea’s Looking for Landmarks is worth checking out.

Contact Holly Herbert at