Record review: Lowtide – Lowtide (2014, LP)

lowtide album

Melbourne’s Lowtide are a band that takes their time, but boy has it been worth the wait. What started as a bedroom project for guitarist Gabriel Lewis in 2008 has blossomed into a four-piece band with a strong live reputation and now a debut album in the bag; and what a fine debut album it is. While shoegaze is the label that will be slapped all over these nine songs, there’s a lot more to sink your ’90s-cut teeth into. The band seem to know the perfect time to drift out of focus, as on ‘Still Time’ and ‘Yesterday’, before returning sharply into view with crisp pop single ‘Held’ and darkly primal ‘Autumn’. First single ‘Blue Movie’ could be ripped from a Lynchian dream sequence, whereas the chugging bass rhythms on ‘Wedding Ring’ provide a more forward-looking approach. Top marks have to go to singers Giles Simon and Lucy Buckeridge, whose poised vocals provide constant highlights on most tracks. Unfortunately, such fresh beauty often causes music reviewers to roll out plum old phrases like “melodic textures”, “aural layers” and the worst of all, “sonic soundscapes” in failed bids to capture the grandeur of this music in words, but crap like that doesn’t do it justice. Whether you want to call it shoegaze, roogaze, dream-pop, indie or whatever, this is simply a classy piece of work that should feature in everyone’s end of year best-of list. (Lost & Lonesome Records)

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