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Lower make intense music. Seek Warmer Climes, the Copenhagen quartet’s debut album, released through Matador, sparkles with the harmonic dissonance and high-strung urgency of their underground rock forebears. But Lower also channel the romance and drama of great singer-songwriters, from late-period Scott Walker to Bryan Ferry. The result is a hugely ambitious and affecting rock album that enters deeply personal and unusual sonic and topical spaces.
Certainly, you don’t have to dig deep to hear how far Lower’s music sits from the traditional concerns of modern rock music. Adrian Toubro’s lyrics are finely wrought emotional dramas that, in their poetic construction and raw honesty of delivery, gesture to the music of Walker or Leonard Cohen. As inspirations he cites Cornelis Vreeswijk, the half Dutch, half Swedish troubadour whose coarse language and fascination with low society shocked the conservative listeners of the day, and filmmaker John Cassavetes, who made his movies about ‘real people with real issues’.
The striking cover art of Seek Warmer Climes is a photograph shot by Emdal, who has directed visual material for a lot of Copenhagen groups (he also directed a Vår video and took the photo of a hunting falcon that adorns Iceage’s You’re Nothing). It’s one of several connections between the band and the Copenhagen underground. They are members of other bands including Age Coin, Olymphia, Vår, Marching Church and Sexdrome.
‘Dense, beguiling punk poetry’ – Pitchfork