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Lowland Hum

Thin – 2017 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Lowland Hum

As a husband and wife duo, Daniel and Lauren Goans are naturally in sync. Their hushed harmonies and low-lit melodies boast an unmistakable folk finesse, one so pure and natural it seems like second nature. As their handle suggests, theirs' is hardly the boldest sound around, but it's compelling and convincing all the same.

Indeed, after a trio of earlier releases, that's all too evident, and if titling "Thin" was the result of a desire to affirm that fact, then suffice it to say the point is well served. Still, it takes a very close listen and the ability to be free of distraction to really appreciate all the album has to offer. They frequently summon the collective spirit of Pentangle, Nick Drake and Jackson C. Frank, but the purity of their sound gives cause for their appeal. The songs have an elusive aura, and yet the beauty is apparent even on an initial encounter. Lyrics like these from "Tree" - "How am I to act? How am I to think? Suddenly you are, from a thrash of heat" - may seem somewhat precious, but they fit nicely within these intimate environs, somehow stoic and sentimental all at the same time.

Ultimately, "Thin" becomes an expression of the duo's deep spirituality, a quest for redemption that's often just beyond reach. Songs such as "Palm Lines," "Adonai," "Vedauwoo" and "Winter Grass" all hint at a nagging desire, albeit with words and music that may be elusive and vague, but still retain an affecting grasp regardless. In the end, Lowland Hum's music resonates with innocence and intrigue, but in a world that's filled with chaos, anger and upheaval, any exposure to quiet and calm is long overdue.