Bella Union’s Danish collective Lowly captured my heart with their album Heba, at the start of the year. Replete with swooping melodies meditating upon socially conscious themes, welded to an expansive, spiralling electronic dappled alt-pop tapestry, it was a deeply affecting, ambitious and impressive long player.
Steffen kindly answered some of our questions, about their year and what the future holds for them.
Hi, how are you today?
Hi! Great, thanks.
How was 2017 for you?
2017 was a mind-blowing year for us. With the release of Heba and everything surrounding it. We’ve played so many different kinds of shows all over the world that the release feels like ages ago already. And even more importantly we’ve met the people who have been listening to our music at our shows which feels incredible.
What was your highlight of the year?
One of our highlights was definitely our show at End Of The Road festival: After a horrible soundcheck where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, we stood backstage feeling pretty down and convinced that no one would come to see such an early show (11:45 am!) But the opposite happened, the tent was packed and the audience gave us so much love.
What was the most unexpected thing to happen to you this year?
Being nominated for “Best album of the year” by the Danish critics’ award “Steppeulven” was pretty surprising to us. And a great honour to be nominated alongside some of the best Danish acts.
What was your favourite live show that you played this year?
We’ve had so many great experiences this year. We played with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, with a chamber choir, played some amazing festivals during the summer and this autumn we turned an old water tower into a recording studio and played a really special show for a very limited number of people and the end of the recordings. But one of our favourite live shows was the show at Monsoon Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam. Mainly because of the surreal feeling of going to a country we’ve never visited before and playing in front of 10.000 people.
Your record made my top 50 albums list of 2017, but what are your favourite albums of this year?
Here’s my top 3:
1. Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up
2. Perfume Genius: No Shape
3. Big Thief: Capacity
What was your favourite purchase this year?
My 1973 Slingerland Copper over Wood drum kit!
What did you learn this year?
To drive on the left side of the road during our UK tours and shows!
Do you have any shows booked for next year?
There will be shows in 2018, but you’ll have to keep an eye out on our socials where we’ll keep you posted about when and where.
Do you have any songs recorded or releases planned for 2018?
We’re currently working on our second album. A lot of songs are written, some are recorded, some have been tested on our previous tours. But we can’t tell you anything about release dates etc yet!!
Lowly have shared the beautiful new video for ‘No Hands’, which features an exempt of a dance performance titled ‘(S)kjønn Safar’, performed by Louis Schou-Hansen & Harald Andreas Beharie that explores the idea of gender neutrality/ the possibility of creating a third gender. Lowly had the below to say about the piece…
“In the video, there is an intense and restless struggle between attraction and revulsion between two people that seem to be both in need of each other but and tearing each other down. That makes the piece beautiful and devastating at the same time, the same goes for the song itself and what it seems to be telling
The core of the song is this ambivalence and perhaps why we thought it fitted so well with Louis’ and Harald’s performance.”