Review: Lowlight – Born to Run

Born to Run is the new EP from Lowlight –  the established synth-indie band hailing from New Jersey, currently touring the US East Coast with rock and rollers The Pretenders. This female fronted five-piece released their first album Where Do We Go From Here in 2016, and the band carry the true and unique sound conveyed on their debut through to their new EP, which could be described as being both synth-pop but also alt-country. Lead singer Renee Maskin conveys her distinctive tone while alluding to vocals similar to the likes of The Bangles and Nelly Furtado, especially evoking a New Jerseyan Stevie Nicks through her rock and roll vibes.

The approachable yet somewhat dark collection of songs that make up Born To Run display a raw sense of emotion, which reflects the dedicated nature of this band who have previously been described as “the most fiercely loyal, dedicated and hard-working independent band in New Jersey’s music scene…” (Bob Makin, mycentraljersey.com). The airy and mellow opening track of ‘Sleep Wounds’ provokes this emotion and honesty; beautifully achieved through Maskin’s dreamlike storytelling paired with blunt lyrics such as ‘this feeling still won’t go’ and ‘we can’t change what we can’t change’.

The lyrics of perseverance and dedication featured in ‘Can’t Stop Now’ with ‘I knew I’d fall behind’ and ‘still I tried picking up speed’, again continue to reflect Lowlight’s true sentiment and passion for making music. The distorted and fuzzy guitars alongside rolling drums convey the band’s indie rock vibes, perfectly climaxing near the end of this track to provoke melancholic feelings within the listener. The atmospheric backdrop created by the use of synths sets a chilled yet dramatic tone which is apparent throughout the whole EP, but most notably in the epic 10 minute finale ‘Bird Man’s Last Ride‘, which magnificently utilises a balance between focused organs and patterned percussion.

The laid-back rock track’ Night and Weekends’ encapsulates Lowlight’s musical artistry while also featuring an instrumental jig which resonates both country and Irish influence.  It is arguably the band’s best song to date and is definitely the highlight of their exquisitely crafted EP, which shows much maturity and depth when contrasted with their previous work.

Megan Wood

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