Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Lowertown’s new EP reflects on the beauty found in despair and anguish


Like most of us have these past 18 months, Lowertown’s Olivia Osby and Avshalom Weinberg have experienced some intense emotions and reflect this on their latest EP ‘The Gaping Mouth’. The pair’s Bandcamp page sees them describe their music as “a blend of electronic and lo-fi instrumentation with meaningful lyricism and melancholy, narrative lyrics”

These Atlanta-based 19-year-olds possess such great talent, so we cannot wait for ‘The Gaping Mouth’ to be released. It’ll ensure we can connect with them once again on a melancholic and beautifully hopeless level. Their new music is self-described to have a “mature sadness”, as they continue to write and lyrically delve into the unknown.

Listeners are lucky enough to be called “friends” by the band (though, it should be noted that they intend to create a new name for their fanbase). This unique relationship potentially stems from the overall sense of sadness their music so wonderfully creates. The music gives the public an outlet and a sense of security, knowing that such incredibly talented young people experience a multitude of increasingly complex emotions, too. Being based in the hip-hop city of Atlanta, Georgia, Lowertown’s music creates an atmosphere wildly different to the potential expectations of their hometown. However, this allows them to stand out and immerse themselves in their own lyrics and create great music that we can all cry and sing along to. 


The opening song ‘Clown Car’ possesses a sense of beauty in the melancholic atmosphere it creates. The lines “forgetting to eat / forgetting to sleep / forgetting myself”are bound to touch base with many young people, being issues lots of teenagers struggle with in today's society. This unfortunate fact is somewhat comforted by the realisation that it is not a feeling you must have alone. The importance of discussing such issues with others is highlighted through the bands’ lyricism. Additionally, the grounding guitar playing in the song also exudes a sense of comfort and provides a sense of escapism. The music exaggerates the relationship between the band and listener, which is a truly incredible technique that Osby and Weingberg greatly succeed in. 


The title song ‘The Gaping Mouth’holds a similar vibe of despondency and a musically-produced idea of reaching for something unattainable. This song, in particular, seems to reflect the feeling of hopelessness some teenagers feel when it comes to love and life struggles. The idea of “you are the Iris in my eye” implies someone/something controlling the light entering your body, as the Iris does for the eye. Of course, we can never know the artist's muse for sure but it is safe to say we are grateful for whatever it was that led to the formation of such an intensely deep lyric. The guitar strumming and chords for this song demonstrate just how aware the world needs to be of the sadness some teenagers experience. Its slow progression may be a reflection of the increasing emotions felt as the painful effects of COVID continue haunting our globe. 


Their final song‘Sunburnt’has a more upbeat feel, ending their EP on a strong and powerful note. It expresses life’s hardships and the sense of wanting to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed. The lyrics "wish I could just turn it off” resonate with listeners who are in need of support as Lowertown offers that for them. Listeners are able to escape in music that expresses and validates their feelings, allowing them to connect with Osby and Weinberg and ultimately learn to connect with those who can help in other ways too. The song closes with the lyrics, “If I could just shut down / I would right now / I would right now”,  leaving us with a wonderful, yet hollow instrumental ending. 


Abby Price


Image:  Shamshawan Scott

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