“Stark, raw, and powerfully moving, an understated yet heartbreaking work of cinematic beauty.”
– Under The Radar
“ALMA’s made-for-a-cathedral harmonies leave us powerless at their alter” – Secret Meeting
“A ruthlessly independent female trio from Brooklyn, ALMA fuse indie rock percussion, synthpop splendor and neo-soul layering techniques. Their latest single, “Mornight,” reflects the sonic richness of New York’s DIY scene anchored by a chunky electric bass and vocals equal parts Amelia Meath, equal parts Staveley-Taylor sisters.” – Atwood Magazine
“Intimate and cinematic”
– Wild Honey Pie
“A refreshing indie-pop jam…’Mornight’ is an immersive experience that is as entertaining to listen to as it is good”
– The Alternative
“An instant showstopper”
– Thank Folk For That
“Packed to the brim with catchy melodic hooks”
– She Makes Music
“Astonishing vocal arrangements”
– We All Want Someone To Shout For
“A dream pop banger”
– Glass Factory
“Beautiful, precise and organic… a world within itself”
– Sounds Good Blog
– Sonic Breakfast
– Le Future Wave
Capturing grief is an impossible task, but the airy soundscapes of “Sips of Oxygen” creates a space for that grief to exist. On July 30th, NYC-based indie dream pop trio ALMA share a song that is deeply personal, yet poignantly universal too. Vulnerable and poetic, “Sips of Oxygen” is about the moment before you lose someone, when the vibrancy of a life collapses into the act of breathing in and out. ALMA delivers a cinematic journey through their lyrics and sound design that relentlessly pulls you into each scene. First in the memory of a family fourth of July party (taken from real life) and then a hospital before the song’s final words ask, “how in the hell did it come down to sips of oxygen?”
In the premiere, Under the Radarwrote: “‘Sips of Oxygen’ is a vulnerable dive into grief and loss, examining the final moments when all of life comes down to simply “sips of oxygen.” The poignant narrative opens on ambient conversational sound design, before being pulled slowly and inexorably into the cold grip of loss as the warm din of conversation fades and icy synths come to the fore. All the while, the song gives the stage to the trio’s gorgeous harmonies, flying high above the song’s filmic soundscapes as they narrate the tragedy of loss. The result is stark, raw, and powerfully moving, an understated yet heartbreaking work of cinematic beauty.”
Secret Meeting gave the track a glowing review, writing: “ALMA’s made-for-a-cathedral harmonies leave us as powerless at their alter as we are to the march of death. However, what really sets the trio apart is how seamlessly they interweave the song’s textures. Made up of two engineers and one film-maker, this ability perhaps comes down to their day jobs. As skilled as architects as they are as singers, they segue between the home video recording that makes for the intro and the opening choral harmony with such subtlety that the change is hardly noticeable.”
The final single off their upcoming LP Mosaic, “Sips of Oxygen” is quite a note to end on. Harmonies circle overhead, faint voices fade in and out of the backdrop, intermingling with cinematic soundscape elements. Beautifully understated and stripped down to the bone, “Sips of Oxygen” is undoubtedly the trio’s finest work yet.
ALMA’s debut album Mosaic (out September 7th) is an immersive patchwork of experiences lived in New York City, with each song delivering the story of a moment in time, forever tied to the place it was lived in. Spanning decades of city history, personal memories, train rides, and collective calls to action. What’s special about this album is it takes the listener on a citywide adventure through many of the five boroughs: on the subway, through Astoria park, and on the Wonder Wheel at night to feel what it’s like to be a New Yorker. More than that, the album transcends the limits of place and invites the listener to fully inhabit each song, no matter where they are.
“Sips of Oxygen” [Official Single Artwork]
NYC-based trio ALMA bring a quirky, cinematic DIY approach to dream pop. Often compared to artists like Sylvan Esso, Tune Yards, The Staves, and Dirty Projectors, their music is immersive, chock full of vocal harmony and homegrown production. Collaborating with industry giants Elliot Moss and Ted Jensen on their debut record, ALMA crafts a sound that is purely and uniquely their own. Their genre-bending freshman effort, Mosaic is due out this Fall.
ALMA is comprised of Alba S. Torremocha (vocals, strings, bass, drums, guitar, uke) Lillie R. McDonough (vocals, piano, glock, violin, hammer dulcimer), and Melissa K. Carter (vocals, guitar). The trio formed in 2019 out of a shared delight in harmonizing and experimentation with quirky instrumentals and old-fangled synthesizers. They discovered a certain alchemy in the combination of sensibilities as film composers and audio engineers that has made for a genre bending offering to the wide world of indie pop. Elements of Folk, Rock, Grunge, Pop and even movie soundtracks are all at home in their songs.
Leaning into the creative constraints of studio shutdowns through 2020, ALMA went rogue with at-home production: a choice that would quickly become a key component to their unique sound. Armed with a mobile microphone and a DIY sensibility, they use airplanes as cymbals, parental phone chats as texture, slices of last year’s Fourth of July Party, and even samples of Melissa’s roomie splashing in the tub to produce their music with the sounds of the world they inhabit outside of the recording studio. Their unique approach to production is grounded by ethereal vocal arrangements that form the core of their signature sound.
Their debut LP Mosaic is a personal letter to NYC. Each song delivers the story of a moment in time in the city they call home. Mosaic invites you to sit beside them on the subway, walk with them through Astoria park, and ride the Wonder Wheel at night as you feel into what it means to be a New Yorker. They have been releasing singles from the album since September of 2020 that have received glowing reviews by Glasse Factory, Sounds Good Blog, Envertent, Le Future Wave, We All Want Someone to Shout for, and more.
ALMA was named a NYFA Fellow for their genre-pushing work in 2019, and later was an Awesome Foundation Grant recipient in 2020. They are currently in the process of producing a staged, theatrical musical of their freshman album in partnership with Savannah Repertory Theater.