Lowpines – Give Me a Horse EP

ImageLowpines are a cool co-ed duo hailing from west London. Behind the somber sounding band name are Oli Deakin and Lyla Foy, partners in the sublime. The talented two have released a minimalist masterpiece, Give Me a Horse, via EardrumsPop.

Teasing us with only three songs, Lowpines open up the EP with the title track, a slow moving lo-fi acoustic waltz that meets somewhere between Bonnie Prince Billy and Smog. Deakin interjects some Bill Callahan/Jandek type of lyrics: “Give me a horse and I’ll give it grass to feed on the winter long / Give me a horse and I’ll keep it strong for you to ride on.” Much like Callahan, I’m sure the horse is metaphorical for the aching desire to be in a loving relationship. Foy’s convincing voice, along with a somber electric guitar enters to bring the song to a sweet climax. Quite frankly, “Give Me a Horse” is an excellent single.

Opening with a softly cutting and climbing guitar lightly washed with effects, “Heavy Hander” is haunting in its efficient construction and pleasing in its economical use of vocals and instrumentation. Deakin and Foy magically meet in the chorus when they plead, “Come away heavy-hander / Give me back my summer sun.” It’s interesting how the duo can make the song simultaneously sound anxious and relaxing.

The EP ends with “It’s Not Happening,” a cover of the Vancouver-based band The Be Good Tanyas. Though Deakin takes the lead on the vocals, this is the first time we hear Foy flex her vocal power without harmonizing with her band mate. Maybe I’m a bit too enamored with the Lowpines, but their version of the song is more heartfelt and emotional than the original. At the same time, I would’ve liked to have seen the band give the listener another original composition instead of a cover tune.

I’m pleasantly surprised by Lowpines. I want more. I want more songs. I want a physical release of the EP to hold in my hands and wave around. I want to see them in concert. Heck, I even want a t-shirt and poster. The Lowpines have real talent. They aren’t just studio smoke and mirrors. Make sure you check out their fairly recent Daytrotter sessions where they give a beautiful performance of their few tracks. Oh, and I love the cover art. It fits the mood of the EP. Great job, guys. Write more songs!

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March 12, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Albums. 2 comments.

Daytrotter of the Day: Talkdemonic

20055595-3737691The Portland, Oregon-based, multi-instrumental twosome are in the business of crafting emotionally energetic songs that are simultaneously futuristic and familiar. With Kevin O’Conner handling the percussions, guitar and piano and Lisa Molinaro playing the viola and synths, the talented duo hover somewhere between the backwoods and the suburbs with their unique blend of indie-folk and hip-hop. The instrumentals are deep, textured and refreshing. It would be criminal to add any vocals to their songs.

Recently, the band took part in another Daytrotter session that you need to check out. Talkdemonic originally recorded a session in late 2008 that showcased the intimate and appealing nature of their compositions. The most recent session is more light and airy in comparison to their Daytrotter debut. Make sure to check out the playful and provoking “Summer Glass.” Also, shut off the lights and get lost in the spaced out sounds of the aptly titled “Slumber Verses.” At times, it seems as though the Portland pair’s songs are too brief. I would like to see (hear) the band expand their songs. It’s almost as though O’Conner and Molinaro are teasing the listener by clocking some of their tracks just over two minutes.

Regardless of the terrible band name—rhetorically, it seems more fitting for a metal band—Talkdemonic is a band worthy of your time. Also, Lisa Molinaro is almost as beautiful as the music she creates. Check out their Daytrotter sessions and tell me what you think.

February 28, 2013. Tags: , , , . Daytrotter of the Day. Leave a comment.