Twenty-six years from now, John Connor will send someone back to thirty-nine years before today to warn us not to overuse technology.
Slow down Mr. Future Edward Furlong, Danish noise-pop quintet Lowly has something to say about that.
Known for an unyielding self-awareness of melodic innovation within the genre-specter-like sounds traversing a self-defined landscape over the last half-decade, Lowly have set their sights on the next step in their story, their latest record, Keep Up The Good Work (Feb. 17 Bella Union).
Keep Up The Good Work is a fourteen-track exploration into the sonically compiled visions of a band that should not be overlooked. Since 2017’s Heba, Lowly have subtly and progressively leaned into a fusion of increasingly digitized harmony that is exemplified on the new record. Blurring the lines between the human elements and technologic aids, the results are one cohesive experience that bends and blends what makes Lowly such a captivating sound into a stunning step forward. Where 2019’s Hifalutin gave us glimpses into where the sound was headed, Keep Up The Good Work brings it full circle. Nods to mid-00s noise-pop sounds (“You Are Good And I Love You”) stretch comfortably over worldly-influence (“Nothing Much”) in a narrative built out of life events and lockdown restrictions. Seamlessly balancing acoustic with digital, light projecting into an unassuming darkness we all feel from time to time, Lowly embodies a profound sense of musicianship, stripped down to seemingly bare essence, and achieves a clarity is purely awe inspiring. I can’t, in the most critical of terms, arrive any a single beat or word I’d change with this record; nor can I stop exploring the sounds it holds.
Although I’m not one for the sweeping increase in artificial abilities, likely to side with John Connor, I can’t step away from the finite blends of Lowly’s latest. Keep Up The Good Work paints sonic landscapes that warm your soul like the first sun of spring, but ultimately beg us to revisit their entire catalog. Should you undertake this massively rewarding endeavor, from Heba through Keep Up The Good Work, you’ll walk a path of gradual progression that feels incredibly cohesive and equally captivating. Perhaps there’s an acceptable balance with technology and perhaps Lowly can show us the way.