Folk music has seen a boom over the past decade or so, culminating especially underneath the recent swath of uncertain political regimes rising throughout the world and a need for music as an escape. Unfortunately, as with any art-based revolution that gains in popularity, the rise of a musical movement often means the commercialization of a movement, too. Lowland Hum is one duo that renounces the more mainstream affectation of modern-day folk by embracing their artful side, and that much shows in spades on their decidedly “art-folk” debut record, Thin.
Somewhere between the gentle, softly captivating harmonies and movements of the Milk Carton Kids and the more experimental, vivacious arrangements of Jesca Hoop, Lowland Hum operate across their debut much like a quiet tempest. On the one hand, they’re eloquent and reserved, and on the other, they fill their songs with more offbeat stylistic choices than one might initially find on first listen, even if they are intentionally seeking it out. They wear a bevy of influences on their sleeves—from smooth jazz to celebrated folksters like Elliott Smith—and still manage to bring it together in a way that is uniquely their own. As far as the total encompassment of the sound set on display here, Thin is anything but.
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