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LOWLY

Lowly

Keep Up The Good Work

    The internationally acclaimed quintet from Denmark continue to develop their creative process, embracing other peoples’ affection and letting it blend into their songwriting. The result of this journey is Keep Up The Good Work, the band’s most sincere work to date. Sometimes the support we need doesn’t lie in complex answers. Sometimes it can be found in the simplest encouragement. This reflection is embodied throughout their third album, Keep Up The Good Work.

    This music has been forged within a maelstrom of lockdown restrictions and critical life events; often working together virtually, and eventually being together physically and writing as a group.

    “We know each other really well after 8 years as friends, colleagues and collective creators. We know what we’re each going through in life, and we can hear it in the music we make together; it’s always a personal reflection of us in the given moment. You can hear that we’ve become older, that we have more to tell. During the pandemic we experienced both the joys of having children and the sorrow of losing people we cared for. Life and death struck us, you could say, which maybe seems rather banal or cliché to be writing about. But for that reason, we think this record speaks universally, and has the potential of resonating with many people.”


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: An uplifting and beautifully constructed selection of synthy, post-rock indebted instrumentals topped with found sound mantras and soaring folky vocals. It's a bafflingly large influence pool to be drawing on, but it's put together impeccably and flows as smoothly as you'd like.

    TRACK LISTING

    1 What A Day
    2 Seasons
    3 Keep Up The Good Work
    4 Happen
    5 Feel Someone
    6 The Fish
    7 Yagaily
    8 You Are Good And I Love You
    9 Lead Me
    10 1321
    11 Nothing Much
    12 Took A Day Off Feeling Sad
    13 The We The You The I
    14 Mouth

    “If you stick to just what you know, your music, your art or whatever your situation is becomes stagnant,” say Denmark’s Lowly. “And we wouldn’t like to miss out on anything, just because we felt too comfortable.”

    A band unafraid to reach beyond their comfort zone, Lowly thrive on the embrace of doubt and curiosity. An inquisitive spirit drives the quintet’s second album, which evolved from an open-ended process in large spaces, from lost factory halls to water towers. Released via Bella Union, ‘Hifalutin’ brims with suggestive discoveries from its title onwards. The result is the work of five people expressing themselves freely as a tight collective: focused, yet fertile with possibility.

    Warmly received in Pitchfork, Uncut and elsewhere, Lowly’s debut album, Heba, was a feast of dramatic dream-pop. Yet ‘Hifalutin’ is more ambitious still. The album was primarily recorded in a 150 square meter warehouse, just outside the city of Aarhus. Band members recorded their parts as individuals and as a group; meanwhile, the producer, Anders Boll, placed microphones in nooks and crannies of the enormous space, all the better to highlight the dynamics between the band members.

    “We dared to be even more curious,” explains guitarist and singer Nanna Schannong, “and started recording without knowing where we would end up. This curiosity released a huge amount of trust and confidence between us: we became much more tolerant of each other's diversity, and dared to give each other space. It also meant that some sketches suddenly became two pieces… or, that eight to nine different pieces suddenly found themselves in one song.”

    A willingness to turn their backs on accepted frames of practise, for both recordings and performances, has characterized Lowly since their formation in 2014 at the music academy in Aarhus, Denmark, where they studied different subjects but forged a unique chemistry out of contrast.

    As synthesizer player Kasper Staub reflects, “We want to give doubt, and curiosity, a voice. It is needed in a world characterized by obsession and goal-orientated living. You don’t need to know the answer in advance to express yourself. If we don’t allow ourselves to forget the goal, we risk missing all that we did not already know.”

    An invitation sent from and to curious minds, ‘Hifalutin’ is luminous modern pop at its most delicate and robust, assertive and open-ended.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Lowly skilfully craft a rising cacophony of echoed dream-pop, hazy electronics and smooth synth swells. Carefully layering together elements into a poppy but satisfyingly weird whole. Think of Efterklang in their more introspective moments mixed with the modern nu-dance stacked synth throbs and Bjork's off-piste vocal style and you're at least part of the way there. Really beautiful, immersive stuff.

    TRACK LISTING

    Go For A Walk
    Stephen
    Baglaens
    Staples
    I
    In The Hearts
    Out Beyond
    Children
    Ii
    Delicate Delegates
    Selver
    12:36
    Iii
    Wonder


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