Lowpines, the musical name for Brit Oli Deakin, is a soft hushed rock affair. It’s a bit lazy to pop in comparisons to Iron and Wine, Bon Iver but with some of the more technical wizardry of C Duncan thrown in too but it is a good way to base your ears for the eargasm you’ll get.
Oli’s voice is made for that soft, layered vocal approach where things are slowly built upon to march towards something rather than shout and scream about it. “We Come Right” is a brooding opener that circulates a few chords and slowly unwinds itself letting the exquisite “Broken Wing” allow Oli to shine through. The addition of flute throughout the album gives the album a natural warmth and when paired with the layered vocals, shimmering synths that mirror a string arrangement and subtle guitar effects – it sounds like a beautiful sunrise in a 1960’s psychedelic acoustic rock album. It’s the layering and clever trickery that I love though – because different sounds pop in and out over time drawing your attention to little details. It’s a true audio craft.
It’s this fun that makes generally mysterious and sad songs have that extra layer. “Come On Choas” sounds like you’re in a medieval cave but a glass room at the same time. Its interplay in reverb and looping is what makes the track really stand out whilst the mellotron styled synths make “Parasite” feel so empty and wistful you want to sway and hug the nearest person. “Chambers in the Canopy” is a lush acoustic folk rock track that doesn’t hide behind tech wizard stuff and just goes for melting your heart instead. It’s piano, guitar, drum and synths all merge together playing arpeggio’s perfectly in time to create a wheel of patterns that are sumptuous to listen to. An audio cloud if you will.
Sucking all the bass out of the mix, “Gold Leaf and Amithyst” is a mysterious and creepy tone as the layers of voices feel like ghosts calling, whilst the strings have no bass to compliment them so they feel angelic but also a little thin and therefore not comforting. Warm is exactly what I would call the country-tinged folk ballad “Connecting the Fireflies” that has an unusual time step in its waltz. “Miracle Child” and then “Perfect Silence” actually push the album to something tonally a little more uplifting. The latter track, in particular, is probably the rockiest the album gets as the drums and guitars get to breathe and take centre stage. They are both mini-anthems for the mumblers and we need those.
Lowpines has created a wonderful album here that will appeal to many who enjoy light rock, acoustic rock and music that gets creative with effects and captures your ears in a variety of ways. Superb – I’ll be diving into the back catalogue.
Recommended Track: Broken Wing