Lorna are a star crossed multi instrumental dynamic band/project from all over the globe, based in Nottingham UK.
Sharon Cohen - Vocals, Piano
James Allen - Vocals, Bass
Mark Rolfe - Vocals, Guitar
Matt Harrison - Flute, Guitar
They exist because they have to.
Lorna was originally formed as a studio project in 1997 by songwriter Mark Rolfe. Based in Nottingham, UK, songs are conceived, written and produced by the band, in their own studio with help from various collaborators and an eclectic and wide range of instrumentation. Studio work is Lorna's forte. With Mark Rolfe's understanding and knowledge of conventional music theory, heavy inspiration from great producers and range of instrumentation, Sharon Cohen's dreamlike, sincere voice and years of academic and self study of Music Production and Technology - together they form the perfect self-production team. Often a co-writer with Sharon and Mark is bassist and sound instrumentalist James Allen, whose biggest gift to Lorna's music is the majority of the heartfelt and earthly male vocals. Matt Harrison completes the core of Lorna's studio and song writing team, adding his classical knowledge and love of the underground and electronic experimentation to the team.
Lorna released their first CD EP in March 2000 on Nottingham independent Intromit Records. Seduced and intrigued, Jeff Barrett (legendary head honcho at Heavenly Recordings) immediately offered Lorna a publishing deal through EMI Music in 2001. The band accepted. 2001/2002 was spent recording over 40 new tracks. More experimentation, inspiration and collaboration including work with members of Six By Seven, Spiritualized and Echoboy led to a second single release on 7" vinyl through Spanish label Becalmed Records. "Piano and guitar notes fall like teardrops. This is imagined memory where Brian Wilson invites Slowdive to work with him". "Emotional and pure pop gem". The record received critical acclaim and worldwide airplay.
In 2003, Lorna completed their first "proper" album, "This Time, Each Year", and turned their attention to searching for independent labels throughout the world to release it. The first label to do so was Pause Music in Spain, where the album was released in December 2003. The album received huge critical acclaim and by January 2004, was already marked for album of the year on many Spanish radio stations. The band took on a full promotional tour of Spain to astounding success including slots of national daytime TV and radio and playing capacity shows at cities including Madrid and Valencia. Following the European release of "This Time, Each Year", Lorna signed up with US based label Hybrid Electric Records in early 2004 to release the album in the US and Canada. This hit the stores on June 1st 2004. The very same week Lorna began work on their second full length release, again at their own "Stars of Winnetka" studios in Nottingham. The new expansive album is now well on the way to completion and is expected to be released in mid 2005, when the band will once again enthusiastically be promoting, touring and self-propelling the music of Lorna with their strong work ethic.
The live shows, whilst paying tribute to the fragility and tenderness of the recordings, tend to be a far more dynamic and maverick affair. Recent live support slots include The American Analog Set, Neil Halstead, Evan Dando, The Pernice Brothers, Mark Gardener, Midlake, Echoboy, Simian and Six By Seven. "A beautiful aural adventure", "Perhaps, the great thing about Lorna is their ability to avoid pigeonholes, seemingly at ease. Gently beguiling, honest and truly beautiful".
Lorna's music mixes vast influences, from the wall-of-sound ideology of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, the tenderness of Low, Erik Satie and David Lynch soundtracks, the instrumentation of modern heroes such as Papa M and Jim O Rourke, to the sweet country ballads of Gram Parsons, Gene Clarke and Chris Bell, and the nostalgic lyrical beauty and hard working prolific ethic of Neil Young. Think of the good days, the soundtrack of your life.
Ironically in England we have pretty much no audience, sadly we play very little at home in England, usually just to warm up for tours. We have recently completed a very successful tour of Spain which was wonderful and are due to tour the United States in April 2004. We are very excited.
Literally so many to name. Life changing artists for me include Neil Young, Shostakovich, Brian Wilson, Low, Sonic Youth, Aphex Twin, For Stars, Teenage Fanclub, Gram Parsons, Lambchop, Velocity Girl...
Vintage Guitars, beat up classical instruments, toys, analog synths, theremins