A year on from releasing their sublime self-titled album, Lowtide have deigned to bestow upon us another jewel in the form of a 7″ single. The two song offering features one cover and one original, both continuing the lofty sonic trend set by their eponymous LP.
‘Julia’ was originally written by the Asylum Party in 1988, a song that encapsulated the coldwave and post-punk sounds of the era without getting bogged down in its own moodiness. The original was clean and neat and it’s a hard task tackling something that doesn’t really need improving. I suppose the aim of a cover is to provide a reinterpretation of the ideas and emotions originally conveyed – looking at a song from another perspective or simply updating it for contemporary appeal. Lowtide’s version of ‘Julia’ is by no means a bad song; the bubbling bass tones keep the song afloat as they did in 1988 and the vocals add a glossy sheen to the whole experiment, but some of the nuance of the original’s killer guitar work is lost in the wall-of-noise haze that Lowtide prefer to bring to their music. Nothing new has been brought except for a few extra layers of noise. ‘Julia’ as interpreted by Lowtide has been polished to the point of removing all detail: smooth and nice to touch but missing the texture that made the original interesting. They’ve shone the light of the sun upon a concept that was better suited to the shadows.
The second song on the 7” is ‘Spring’, an original track reportedly written and recorded during the sessions that would yield 2014’s self-titled LP. This is a beautiful song, perfect for sitting back and indulging in the lush production and musicianship on offer. My only complaint is that this song (and the 7” as a whole) shows no sign of experimentation or growth for the group over the past 12 months; it seems more as simply an offering to satiate demand. One cover and one song from old recording sessions isn’t particularly newsworthy, and as enjoyable as the songs are they don’t offer anything memorable for fans or otherwise.