SOMNI – Home [September 2020]

Taking influence from home recording, beat tape production and psychedelic West Coast soul combined with intimate, homespun songwriting and experimental instrumental arrangements; UK born, LA based Somni is set to release new album 'Home' via Friends of Friends Music on 27th March 2020. Leo Shulman aka Somni moved to Los Angeles from Hampshire, UK with his family when he was eight years old. From a family of mostly classical musicians - his father Andrew Shulman is a notable session and concert cellist (LA Chamber Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, Britten Quartet, London's Philharmonia Orchestra) - he studied classical guitar from a young age, also learning drums, bass and piano. The album features an array of instrumentation, from the common: acoustic guitar, upright and electric bass, drums, synths; to the more exotic: kalimba, melodica, zither, toy piano, and accordion, alongside field recordings and cassette tape manipulation. Both in narrative and in wordless harmony, Leo's vocals across the record are pitched and manipulated adding a further layer of otherworldliness. Inspired into songwriting by artists like Elliott Smith, Modest Mouse and Cat Power in his early teens; inspiration from the LA beat scene, notably Low End Theory, and artists like Amon Tobin, Portishead, J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Shlohmo brought together a fitting collision of these two worlds in his own music. Leo clarifies this: "While this album is about coming home in a very real sense, it's also representative of coming home to some of the earlier influences that sparked my interest in songwriting when I was a kid, and the impact that just a simple melody over some chords can have. At their heart these songs stem from my roots and my initial spark for music".
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