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Back in 2011, having graced the 7" shelves with their astonishing Underneath Tonight single, all eyes were on Melbourne quartet Lowtide, patiently awaiting their next move. Now, after what seems an eternity in this age of attention deficiency, our heroes finally have their affairs in order for their triumphant return.
In short, Lowtide was not an album that would surrender itself easily; the eponymous debut has seen more reworkings than A Christmas Carol, while the band searched doggedly for the perfect spine-tingling melody and the furthest-out-est guitar sounds. The result is an album that expands Lowtide's sonic perimeters far beyond expectation.
Originally known as Three Month Sunset and centered around the solo workings of Gabriel Lewis, the band came together in 2008. Renamed Lowtide in 2010, the sound evolved from a single ambient, soaring, textured guitar into the band's current, larger configuration framed by dual bassists/vocalists Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon and drummer Anton Jakovljevic.
The album's first single 'Blue Movie' continues the band's dreampop love affair, but this record ain't no one-tricker — 'Held' raises the heart-rate as it careers toward the chorus (and perhaps the album's melodic peak), while 'Wedding Ring' wouldn't be out of place on a John Hughes soundtrack.
Recorded at Soundpark Studios by Melbourne-based UK producer Gareth Parton (Spiritualized, Big Scary, The Go! Team), Lowtide is as layered and complex as it is a straight-to-the-heart modern shoegaze masterpiece.
SIDE A 1) Whale 2) Held 3) Autumn 4) Blue Movie 5) Wedding Ring
SIDE B 6) Yesterday 7) Missing History 8) Maxillæ Leaving, Seaward 9) Still Time
"The atmospheric dream pop of Galaxie 500 and the layered melodic fuzz of My Bloody Valentine are good reference points for this exciting young quartet. Guitarist Gabriel Lewis leads Lowtide, with two bass player/vocalists and drums.
Heavily layered guitars, dreamy vocals buried deep, oodles of reverb; it’s a lovely sound. After one EP and a single, look out for their long-awaited debut album Lowtide in July." Karen Leng, Double J — 'Blue Movie' single review
"Since releasing last single ‘Underneath Tonight’ back in 2011, Melbourne four piece Lowtide have returned with their new track ‘Blue Movie’. It’s obviously not the real deal (sorry fans), although it was probably was only a matter of time before the band named a track to resonate with every slow-burning euphemism used by music journos to describe shoegaze, ie. astral lullabies, torrential walls of guitar, climatic ennui and all the other volitional melancholia that comes with the sort. Plus, the 90s are ‘back’ – all the kids are fornicating to Slowdive again, right? Good.
The video for ‘Blue Movie’, which features some brilliant bokeh effects & camera work, was directed by Melbourne visual artist Jamieson Moore.
The band are launching the track next Friday, 23rd of May at the Worker’s Club in Melbourne. Lowtide’s self-titled debut will be released via Lost & Lonesome on July 18th. The LP will be be available digitally, but god-damn, buy the vinyl for date night/your euphoric listening pleasure." Who the Hell — 'Blue Movie' video premiere
"Melbourne shoegazers Lowtide have at last released a full-length LP, and the initial spin doesn’t disappoint.
Opening with the haunting slow burn of Whale, the quartet unfurl an expanse of sound with droning male/female vocal harmonies perched atop guitars that could fill a black hole.
It’s easy to get lost in the dreamy essence of this album, and when the band isn’t gently pulling the listener into darker terrain, a la Faith-era Cure-sounding tunes Yesterday or Blue Movie, they’re switching it up with perkier, more upbeat melodies that burrow into the brain and stay there, such as Held.
Gabriel Lewis has crafted guitar tones that shift from shimmering bell-like chimes to enveloping sonic panoramas. The twin basses of Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon don’t feature as prominently in the mix as one would expect – not that this is a flaw – but rather combine to merge with the overall aural tapestry.
Maxillae Leaving, Seaward is an engaging instrumental that gradually builds from humble beginnings, with bass and drums layered to slowly propel the listener skyward.
Missing History is a track that showcases the band’s knack for penning songs that brim with warm, fuzzy sentiment, while Wedding Ring echoes this positive vibe with an indie aesthetic that smacks of ‘90s nostalgia.
Lowtide have succeeded in making an album that combines all the elements that make shoegaze such a satisfying listen when done right: lingering melodies, dreamy textures and more layers than an onion." **** The Music
"Despite its shoegaze overtones, Lowtide’s debut LP is actually a pop record steeped in blissful textures. “Wedding Ring” and “Held” are jangly singles at heart, and “Maxillæ Leaving, Seaward” could pass for something on Sarah Records. That said, “Blue Movie” and “Still Time” are subtle enough to reveal their full potential with patience. Key to the Melbourne quartet’s slippery uniqueness are the conversational exchanges between Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon, entwining their dual bass lines and vocals alike. Instead of banking purely on swirling guitar effects, Lowtide exploit rhythm and space. The album houses a perfect mix of the driving and drifting, with songs changing shape right before our ears." **** Rolling Stone
"Wave on wave on wave on wave of introspective lyrics, dreamy guitar tones, jaunty double basses and drums make Lowtide’s debut album a great listen. They have shown that whilst they may be within the confines of ‘shoegaze’, there is a lot they have to offer in their music.
The album begins soft and lingering but with a gravitas that’s pretty well portrayed in the title of the first track, Whale. Luckily ‘Lowtide' isn’t too low and doesn’t beach its first, Whale but amps things up with Held and (after a short Autumn interlude) Blue Movie. Held has a bouncy harmony that breathes a cheery, upbeat vibe into the album, and Blue Movie just fucking rocks. The Cure-esque guitar branching expansive lows and highs is really invigorating. Yesterday is for the emotion built up from everything you’ve been through for the last 20 minutes (of the album), and Missing History gets back to the dream pop Cure routes that I and hopefully you will hold so dear to this album. Like waves on stone the drums in Missing History smash one heartbeat to the next. Although they’ve been identified as ’shoegaze’, lead guitar Gabriel Lewis, dual bassists/vocalists Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon, and drummer Anton Jakovljevic, under the Lost and Lonesome label have made something really quite enjoyable. I want whatever shoes these guys are wearing because they must be pretty fucking inspiring.
Also just a little end note. I cannot stress enough how glad I am that ‘Lowtide' is called ‘Lowtide' as opposed to their pre-2010 title ‘Three Month Sunset’. Whilst this may not be as important a point, their sound in my mind is so synonymous with actual tidal shift that I want to go lie on a beach and listen to the album over and over again.
" ***** City and Sound