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Lowland Hum Reflects on Passage of Time With 'Raise the Ring': Premiere
After a year of intense touring to promote their last Lowland Hum album Thin, Lauren and Daniel Goans found themselves writing songs that were "examining how fast things were moving, and do we want them to move that quickly?" -- a theme that runs strong through the upcoming album Gylphonic and the song "Raise the Ring," premiering exclusively below.
"A lot of (the song) is exploring different moments from childhood but also the cyclical nature of things and the nature of time and how it feels like everything is impermanent," Lauren tells Billboard. Part of the inspiration came from driving through Indiana, where Lauren's family is from but where she herself only visited once. "Memories seem to surface in these different settings," Daniel says. "She'll have all these memories that may not be connected to actual memories of Indiana, but the different landscapes are unlocking different parts of who she is. And when you're singing it's like trying to open a space where the listener can be inside of what these memories are like when they do surface."
The "Raise the Ring" song title, meanwhile, is a salutation Daniel invented as "a combination of, like, 'Cheers!' and 'kiss the ring.' When I was working on that element of the song I was like, 'Is there some sort of new gesture where you can admit how quickly your life is passing but also celebrate that what you're noticing is beautiful?' So...yeah, raise the ring."
Gylphonic is due out on Feb. 22, and the Goans say listeners will be able to pick out more ruminations on the single's theme. "It was a time for us of slowing down and reflecting," Lauren says. What came out of that, according to Daniel, was "how time does seem to chip away at things, but there are different ways to react to that, and you have the voice to kind of admit the corrosive nature of how the pace of everything is picking up faster, faster, faster. So (the album) is about admitting that while also celebrating the beauty in the way it comes at you."
The self-produced Gylphonic also charts a slightly louder sonic path than its three predecessors, fleshing out once spare arrangements that were designed for the Goans to play live as a duo. "On our last record we were trying to strip away as much as possible, so there were a ton of limitations," Daniel acknowledges. "This time we felt these songs seem to require more of a backdrop and some more textures to bring them to life. There are two songs on the record that are the most stripped-down we've ever recorded -- one song is just one guitar and Lauren's voice and that's all -- but I think most of them have a little more to them, and this time we followed that notion."
Lowland Hum will play six East Coast dates during December, starting Dec. 13 in New York. The duo is also releasing its 2017 Songs for Christmas Time on vinyl, but mostly the Goans are excited about having another batch of songs to play in the near future.
"It's just exciting to have another family of songs to share," Lauren says. "We've been doing this for a little more than seven years and it's great to just dig back into some of the really old songs and feel that passage of time and think that we're still doing it now. That's something I'm very thankful for."