Originally published and still available on The Girls Are (29/03/15).
You can be forgiven if you have never come across pop-chanteuse, Lowell, for despite her bold sound, outspoken nature and collaborations (most notably with super group Appartjik and ‘90s heartthrobs, The Backstreet Boys) she has yet to stamp her name on her Canadian homeland. It is merely a matter of time however; as the potion brews with the release of her debut album We Love Her Dearly, the artistic promise of Lowell – real name Elizabeth Lowell Boland – is set to bubble over sooner rather than later.
Monikered as “We Loved Her Dearly”, it is immediately apparent that Lowell is still caught in the throes of murdering her one-time alter-ego in the the 2014 song ‘I Killed Sara V’ and the corresponding EP of the same name. In fact, still so attached to a poignant moment of her past, ‘I Killed Sara V’ continues to exist on We Loved Her Dearly, like a ghostly spectre that continues to haunt, but hey – when such spectres are so charmingly incandescent, who really minds them hanging around?
Read the rest of my review over at The Girls Are.
Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (20/03/15).
Having claimed that 2012’s Zeros was to be his last as a solo artist, it had to be a drastic change of life that made Luis Vasquez go back on his word. His cathartic move to Italy in 2013 sparked a change of pace and introspection that culminated in The Soft Moon’s third album Deeper, one which Vasquez claims to be his most emotional to date.
Working closely with producer Maurizio Baggio led Vasquez away from merely experimenting with the soundscapes of past, instead encouraging the musician to put more focus into the songwriting itself. It is apparent from the outset, with a surprising number of songs leaning towards murky ’80s-infused pop; the dance inclined ‘Far’ is as fast as it is sinewy, whilst ‘Feel’ too, could have easily been plucked from that era.
This is The Soft Moon however, and any immediate impressions of the loosening of intent can be rapidly shunned. If an industrial pop song that questions small banalities such as “Why are we alive?” is any indication, then what surrounds it touches on darker aspects. The foreboding throb of recent single ‘Black’ makes for a suffocating experience, the tinny percussion and Vasquez’ hushed utterances twisting the tension as the minutes tick by. The slow and eerie ‘Wasting’ is akin to an industrial-infused ballad, whilst the mournful piano intro of ‘Without’ touches upon loneliness.
Read the rest of the review and find my other work over at Gigslutz.