Album Review: Lowell—“We Loved Her Dearly”

By Claire Cowan

Recently, Toronto is creating headway for giving small acts a well-earned voice in media – local radio stations such as Indie88 are coming to rise, as well as many other opportunities popping up for local up–and-coming acts to earn their stripes. In this vein, Toronto’s own Lowell has graced the indie music scene with her first full-length album, We Loved Her Dearly, which clearly demonstrates her grasp on how to claim a prominent name in music for herself.

Distinguished record label Arts and Crafts released Lowell’s LP, which is full of vocally charged ballads supplemented by disorderly indie-pop beats, creating an album that is the complete experience of the Canadian alt-pop genre.

Album art of We Loved Her Dearly.

Album art of We Loved Her Dearly.

The first track, “Words Were The Wars,” features a chilling use of robust synths and alluring lyrical hooks. The album’s single “The Bells,” which has received overplay from local radio stations, delivers a properly infectious drum beat matched with vocal undertones that give off the feel of Karen O meets the Tom Tom Club. Bouncing back with “LGBT,” Lowell demonstrates her ability to sing about love, equality, and happiness in its sincerest form. “I Killed Sara V.” gives listeners a peek into Lowell’s initial short-lived job as an exotic dancer upon moving to Toronto from her home in Calgary, which is combined with the same theme in “I Love You Money,” a song that speaks out on the process of working as a stripper, and the satisfaction that comes from taking money from customers. Further, this album is a reminder that half of the art of an LP is to tie each song into the next.

Maintaining a comfortable balance between upbeat and low-key tracks, Lowell’s bubbly harmonization has the ability to go from animated sounds to some offshoot of an emotional power advocate. As far as hitting all mediums in her very first debut album, Lowell has it in the bag, setting herself up to receive a wide range of listeners.

Once I heard “The Bells” on the radio, I sincerely hoped that her radio track wouldn’t be the last I would hear of her, and, judging by the names she has been working with, it is doubtful that Lowell will fizzle out after this album.

Extending a full invitation to give this album a listen, Lowell clearly knows how to cover indie and pop in a way that will appeal to anyone, which is admirable in the business of music today: bridging genres together to create a wonderfully satisfying equilibrium. (Arts & Crafts)


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