The Lowtones are taking on feelings of loneliness and isolation with their debut EP Lights Out. Across the five tracks of the EP, they delve into being alone, closing the book on the past, shutting yourself off and giving up. Written during lockdown, the EP was a cathartic experience for the band as they worked through their own feelings and energy of the time.
The band formed earlier this year and draw on the sounds of British post-punk. Oliver Mavillo (vocals), Jack Abbott (guitar), Tim Carey (bass) and George Abbott (drums) wrote, recorded and mixed the EP at home in Norwich using break-neck speed and energy. While the music is based on their own emotions, each track is relatable in its loneliness.
The EP starts with ‘Feel Nothing’ which draws you in with a fun guitar line. Mavillo’s vocals throw you back in time to 80s post-punk while filling you with a sense of desolation. While there is a fair amount of depression in the track, there is also something freeing about it. Through the music and lyrics, you are set free by feeling nothing and shrugging off everything that is happening. There is a rather infectious beat to this song that keeps you hooked.
‘Losing You’ has a livelier vibe to the opening while the roiling beat in the background get you moving to it. There is a reflective energy to this track as it drops some of the sombre feelings of the last. However, there is a hint of loneliness threaded into the lower levels of the track. The intertwined emotions of the song make it strangely pleasant to listen to and gives you this odd boost.
The paced opening of ‘Ink’ has a swirling feeling to the sound that has you floating in a few directions. The melody sends you in one direction while the vocals look to anchor you against the flow of the instruments. There are a lot of layers to the melody that inundate you as you get drawn into the vocals. The rise and fall of the song’s flow has you moving to it and getting pumped up.
‘Beneath Your Skin’ opens with a lighter melody compared to the previous song. There is an easiness to the melody that lets you relax into it. The vocals have a haziness to them that makes you think of all those things that get beneath your skin without you realising it. This is a very relatable track as it considers closing yourself off to a rather gentle soundscape. Later in the track, there is a burst of gentle energy that makes your feet tap along.
The EP ends with ‘Let Go’ which neatly wraps up the album and links back to the opening track. The melody has an expansive feeling to it from the first moment and sends you lightly soaring along the soundscape. There is a sadness within the vocal performance mixed with heartbreak and a questioning of self-worth. These darker emotions turn into an imploring line of wanting to just move on.
The Lowtones work through isolation, loneliness, despair and cutting yourself off in their debut EP Lights Out. Each track works through a different dark emotion, but there is an underlying sense that you can work through things. The post-punk sounds of the band meld with the emotions and messaging for the EP for an engaging and fun listening experience.