Comprised of Nanna Schannong (lead vocals, guitar), Soffie Viemose (lead vocals, laptop), Kasper Staub (synthesisers), Thomas Lund (bass, Moog) and Steffen Lundtoft (drums, percussion), the up-and-coming Danish experimental pop/synth pop quintet Lowly can trace their origins to when the members of the quintet met while studying at the music academy at Aarhus, Denmark. And despite each member studying completely different subjects, they quick found a common musical ground based around what they’ve describe as a restlessly inventive and gorgeously melodic sound paired around an uncompromising songwriting approach in which their material manages to defy easy categorization.
The Danish quintet’s highly-awaited full-length debut Heba is slated for a February 10, 2017 release through renowned indie label Bella Union Records and building an increasingly buzz for the band and their forthcoming debut, the members of the band recently released the album’s third single “Prepare the Lake,” a lush single that pairs fluttering and shuffling drumming with ethereally shimming synths, swirling and ambient electronics and glistening guitar chords with Schannong’s lilting Dido-like vocals. Interestingly, as the band explains in press notes: “‘Prepare The Lake’ is the oldest of the tracks on the forthcoming album Heba. We’d been playing it for quite some time live before recording it and the form sort of grew out of us during concerts, so perhaps it has more of live feel to it than the other songs on the album.
“The lyrics are inspired by Gertrude Stein’s poetry. She has a very intense way of giving words power because of their surprising or untraditional placement in a sentence. It gives them depth and color and you can almost look at each individual word as a small art installation. It’s not a song that you can say is about a specific subject but it still has something very personal about it. And because the words are so fragmented hopefully, people when they listen can draw their own conclusions to what it means to them.”
“Word,” Heba‘s second single is based around an unusual, prog rock-like song structure in which the song sounds comprised of multiple seemingly unrelated segments held together by a a twisting and turning synth line paired with oddly syncopated drum passages, explosive and buzzing guitar work and Schannong’s lilting soprano in a stormy song that evokes the frustration of not being to say what you needed to say in a relationship, whether from inability or dealing with a blowhard; and the vacillating feelings of self-doubt, hated, uncertainty and longing in a dramatic — and incredibly cinematic track.
As the band’s Kasper Staub adds in press notes “We think of our music and lyrics more like a painting, we think it should all melt together. We’re all interested in developing ourselves as songwriters, and working in new ways, with different ideas.” And as a result, the Danish quintet manages to carefully walk the tightrope between the incredibly challenging and the accessible in a way that may arguably make them among one of the most exciting acts I’ve heard in recent memory.