[30 April 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Look to the right of this review. You’ll see the cover art for Canadian Lowell’s I Killed Sara V. EP. It features an illustration of a cat jumping out from between a woman’s open spread legs. Classy. So the female known as Lowell isn’t exactly one for subtlety, and this extends to the EP itself: the first song is called “Cloud 69”. Coming off as a version of Peaches in smoldering sensuality – the record label’s press release even notes that this artist writes openly about topics like sexual abuse, rape, abortion, and women’s rights – with just a touch of the in-the-red sounds of Sleigh Bells, the I Killed Sara V. EP is an interesting and appealing listen – even if I can openly admit without being flamed that this short album probably wasn’t meant for me as an intended audience. When Lowell sings “You bad, bad boys / Coming down off cloud 69” on the first track, you get the sense that these are anthems of female liberation. Not that I’m against that – far from – but like the Secret deodorant, these are songs that might be strong enough for a man, but were really made for women.
The strongest track on this EP is clearly “The Bells”, which effectively builds on a repeated riff and vocal melody and lyrics. It clearly overpowers pretty much the rest of the short album, but that’s not to say that the other tracks are any slouches, either. It’s just that “The Bells” is so insanely catchy that it just sticks like a worm in your ear and stays there more effectively than anything else to be found on the I Killed Sara V. EP. “Palm Trees” has a creaky organ going for it, rendering it very closely to fellow Canadian U.S. Girls. And the title track has a certain catchiness to it, even though it appears to be about a serious, slightly unsavory subject: abortion. Or maybe infidelity. I’m not sure, and maybe that’s a slight problem. Still, this EP clearly leads well into the artist’s forthcoming full-length album, We Loved Her Dearly, and should made her a much bigger deal and a talent worth watching.