A darker, sexier sound is what the Swedish synth-pop-noir band Lowe offers on the newly-released third album Evolver. Produced by the band’s own record label Megahype, the album features a track called Breathe in Breathe out that has already reached #1 on iTunes Alternative Charts in their native country.
Lowe can best be described by who they sound like: The Cure, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Alphaville, Depeche Mode. Add to the mix black-greased eyes, a disco ball and laser light show and you’ve got Lowe’s third album Evolver.
Here are my first-listen notes so you can see what I mean…
01 Alpha Bravo: Okay, after a low-level brooding start, the tone goes Curesque with a smidgen of A-ha. And look, my shoulders are bouncing to the beat. Good sign.
02 Mirage: The awesome, up-beat drum and synth melody induced a trance, and I imagined starring in a John Hughes film montage that included a summertime sunset, a top-down Corvette, and a handsome stranger with a Nordic accent. Hold on, let me listen to that one more time.
03 Breathe In Breathe Out: This energetic disco-meets-emo track reminds me of early Erasure, and the electronic pwhew pwhew pwhew-ing demands a tricked-out laser light show. Who’s going volunteer to make that happen?
04 Adorable: A New Order-ish tune with lots of orchestrated beat groups that swell and retreat nicely. Then we are harshly and abruptly abandoned in silence three minutes into the track for several seconds before the melody fiercely fills the space again. I feel suddenly…fragile…
05 Live to Love: A bright-tempo-ed love song with drums that almost sound like they come from an actual drum set instead of programmed into a key. Do synth-pop-noir bands even use full-on drum sets anymore? Or is that against the rules…?
06 Half the Double Speed: This track has been hardened into a pop-rock ballad. Meh.
07 Alone in the Dark: A melancholic melody that I just couldn’t get into, but I’m sure many an angsty teen would vow that it perfectly captures the depth and breadth of their complex, forever-lasting tumultuous soul.
08 Forever: I suspect the spacey instrumental that starts this track would create an apropos atmosphere for late-night make-out sessions.
09 EdT: This parting-is-such-sweet-sorrow ballad is perfect as the last track of the album because its hopeful melody leaves me satisfied.
Good on you, Lowe. Well done.