Lowly is a new band to me but the quintet is well known in Denmark where they are classed as dream pop experimentalists. This track, ‘You are good and I love you’, is the second single to be released from their forthcoming album ‘Keep up the good work’ (17th February 2023 via Bella Union), following the title track.
The song contrasts the permanence of a relationship with the triviality of life within which that relationship resides and they used all manner of little quotes, situations and asides gathered during the writing process for inspiration, such as sleeping in front of the TV, shouting at each other from one end of the apartment to the other, and dancing in the kitchen in order to create “a loving and inclusive story about loving a person despite their less adventurous sides.”
That reminds me of one of the funniest things I ever read, the title story from comedian Alexei Sayle’s book of short stories, ‘Barcelona Plates.’ Early in the story the girlfriend of the main character leaves him after accidentally taping over a recording of a TV show with one of their own humdrum life in which the only highlights in two hours are her offering to make a cup of tea and him emitting a muffled fart while she is in the kitchen. On hearing it, her realisation that their lives are so turgid prompts her to pack her bags and start a relationship “with a fireman specialising in motorway chemical spills.”
I wasn’t at all sure just where to place Lowly as the song began, I was thinking along the lines of Steps I reckon, perhaps Oh Wonder.
But the first of those suggests a ‘novelty’ aspect to their work, while it easily transcends that. The interaction of a catchy beat and associated vocals with an acoustic guitar, synthesiser and – what’s that towards the end, clarinet? – and all in stark syncopation, is unusual and it works very well, along with the unexpectedly sonorous and portentous organ/synthesiser ending and lyrics which are intriguingly open to interpretation.
I believe they’ve recently been playing live in London and Brighton. Hopefully they’ll soon be back and not just restricting themselves to the low(ly) lands.
Photo credit: Asbjørn Sand
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