Deriving their name from the Greek term for “now”, Tora aptly fit within a downtempo contemporary cast, tentatively taking a leaf out of Glass Animals’ drowsy trip-hop playbook, twisting undulating momentum with contoured, less tricksy, overtones than the latter psych-pop purveyors. Debut album Take A Rest found the Australian outfit laying down beats in a cross-genre style that zeroed in on their ability to neatly pair quasi-chillwave with neo-soul tropes. A Force Majeure fizzles with a similarly silky aesthetic that has advanced with each consecutive record, Jo Loewenthal breathing a crooning humidity into the outfit’s honied languor, guitar flourishes snapping on occasion, slicing through the synth volume, notably on the percolating electro-pop of “Call On Me”.
Guest vocalists Angie Hudson and Asha Franco, on “Fire Apartment” and “Metanoia” respectively, volley with Loewenthal’s dulcet tones to create a deeper resonance, reinforcing a multi-angled vibration to the quartet’s palette. The brooding “Put Down Your Phone” and “When Will I Learn” lyrically links with the need to switch off and refocus on surroundings, while a melancholic title-track finds the band explicitly reflecting on a need for self-restraint and respect in a relationship: “We have a life in common / And a love unconditioned / I don’t feel like I own you / But I don’t try to”. The latter is emblematic of the band engaging with a
Playing with fresh elements, alongside well-judged collaborations further help to compound Tora’s chief harmonic and instrumental strengths. Behind the external gloss lies an introspection that grounds A Force Majeure in a clearer emotional statement than previous efforts, merging lavish sonic layers with a sympathetic sensibility, evidence of the band set on a more confessionally bound trajectory.