When Lowly released their single ‘Deer Eyes’ in September last year it was clear they were a band worth getting excited about. The sheer quality of ‘Deer Eyes’ couldn’t, however, prepare even the most devoted Lowly fan for how good their debut album would be. Heba, which came out earlier this year, was a concise, coherent document from a band sure of their identity. For most bands it would take years to deliver something so faultless, but Lowly sounded fully formed from the get go.

As the Danish five piece open tonight’s set with ‘Swim’, it quickly becomes apparent that they sound just as good live. Steffen Lundtoft’s drums are domineering and forceful, Nanna Schannong and Soffie Viemose’s voices are angelic, intertwining perfectly with one another, as Thomas Lund and Kasper Staub join moog and synthesiser together to create a spatial, atmospheric undercurrent.

For ‘Deer Eyes’ Soffie Viemose takes on the vocals alone. Like Héloïse Letissier of Christine and the Queens, Viemose is endowed with unique style and fantastic dance moves. She sings the opening lines with little backing instrumentation before bass synths and dub sounding drums propel the song to another level. It has a huge finish and the expectations of every single audience member are blown out of the water. The reaction is rapturous.

Schannong and Viemose continue to swap singing duties, with Schannong providing wonderful high notes on ‘Look at the Sun’ and Viemose singing with great subtlety over skittle drums and warbling synths on ‘Prepare the Lake’.

They play a new song called ‘Go for a Walk’, which perfectly showcases the band’s ability to move effortlessly from genre to genre. Viemose starts the song speaking Jarvis Cocker style over bassy keys and a dramatic crashing cymbal. Soon more instruments join but the song never gets any less haunting. Who’d have thought that Viemose’s simple plea to “go for a walk” could sound so chilling?

The penultimate song ‘No Hands’ is even more sparse, with atmospheric toms and vocals segueing together to create a dreamy soundscape. Lowly close with ‘Forward’ and, as with every song tonight, they put everything into it. Each member tests the limits of their instruments and Viemose wails as if possessed. As the song finishes, Viemose describes tonight as the “best first gig on a tour you could ever want”, and she couldn’t have summed tonight up any better.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.