Going South isn’t always such a bad thing, especially when it’s the focus of Australian band Lowtide‘s beautiful new album, Southern Mind. Released via Opposite Number/Rice Is Nice earlier this month, the record is a “uniquely Australian take” on the landscapes and politics of the South, but it transcends these contexts via ambient guitars and shimmering vocals.
As bassist and vocalist Lucy Buckeridge explains, “South can be a positive thing, a change” and listeners will be nodding in agreement as the eponymous reverb-saturated ‘Southern Mind’ opens the record. It’s six minutes of dizzy guitar and dreamy vocals that sound like they’re curated by a distant relative of The Cure’s Robert Smith. The same can be said for following track ‘Alibi’.
Giles Fielke’s & Lucy’s dual vocals on ‘Elizabeth Tower’ align to create a nostalgic, hazy soundscape, while ‘A.C.’ rings out in the same cool, atmospheric style, urging listeners to “celebrate yourself.” ‘Olinda’ is an elegant two minutes of melodic, sweeping guitar effects that seamlessly flow in to ‘On The Fence’, another alternative Lowtide lullaby designed to distract listeners and dissolve their negative thoughts. ‘The Fear’ does the same, it’s an aural wish for a life with “No more pain and no more mistakes.”
Penultimate track ‘Window’ is a six minute long breath of fresh air, before ‘Fault Lines’ closes this collection of enveloping, drifting sounds. Lowtide might be going South on their latest release, but it’s a joy to step inside their Southern Mind and lose ourselves in all they have to offer.