Southern Mind by LowtideRelease date: February 16, 2018
Label: Opposite Number
I have known about Lowtide since their first album became available. I remember swooning over the song ‘Julia’ and other tunes, all which revealed that this Melbourne group is no run of the mill shoegaze band. In fact, they have plenty of sonic tricks up their sleeve, and offer up a delectable palette of dream pop, shoegaze, and post punk. They’ve listened as much to the Cocteau Twins as The Cure.
One spin of Southern Mind, the opening track, should underscore what I am saying. These genres also cross paths with psych, all of which lends themselves to the silky and blissful shimmer of these tunes. As I write this, it’s dreary and miserable in my part of New England, and I swear this is the perfect February soundtrack. Dead of winter music, lovely and filigreed with heavenly, layered vocals and blissed out instrumental nirvana.
I won’t go so far as to say it’s a religious experience, but it sure is transformative and beautiful. Guitarist Gabriel Lewis, bassist/vocalist Lucy Buckeridge, former member Giles Fielke on vocals and Fender 6, and drummer Anton Jakovljevic have created a work of art, one that coheres and is crystalline in execution.
Both of the early singles, ‘Alibi’ and ‘Elizabeth Tower’, are hook fests that will grab your attention immediately. Lucy’s dreamy and delicate vocals work wonderfully well with the billowing layers of swooning guitar. Both tunes are gilt-edged marvels and are on repeat on my playlist. I like how Giles and Lucy share vocal duties on ‘Elizabeth Tower’. They sound good together, and repeat the magic on the trippy ‘A.C’. Some of the quieter passages remind me of Chameleons UK.
‘Olinda’ is anchored by the gentle ebb and flow of bass and guitar. It approaches some of the Feeding the Flame era work of the great Sad Lovers and Giants (more, please!). ‘On the Fence’ has dual vocals and it sure is pretty, reminding one a bit of late period Slowdive. The final tune ‘Fault Lines’ has a gentle warmth to it that I love, and the slow cadence really works well here. The music pulsates softly and caresses the senses. In summary, this is a beautiful second album from these folks, and I hope to see a lot more in the future. Well done!