Mesmerizing eastern acoustic mourning
Lowen is a really special band, London-based, duo since parting from their drummer last year. They are mostly focusing on the universe of Nina Saedi, singer and multi-instrumentalist in permanent exile from Iran. Digging in the ancient eastern civilizations, its art, languages, and music, usually blending it in progressive doom riffage, resulting in a unique identity for our scene.
After the success of their debut album from 2018, ‘A Crypt in the Stars‘ (reviewed here by Mr. Fuzz), they are releasing today a 3-song EP, ‘Unceasing Lamentations‘. It is a stripped down version of their music, relying mostly on Nina’s powerful eastern singing.
How’s The Sound?
This EP is a mostly improvised acoustic performance, part of the Doomsday Fest Online, last December (check the video here). It’s a 25 minutes melancholic and vibrant trip to the lost remnants and sandy wastelands of Iran.
All along the three songs, Nina’s voice take us on a rollercoaster of emotions, especially highlighting nuances and textures. Using wisely reverb here and there, she seem to know how to highlight the richness of the voice she’s been gifted with.
Shem Lucas and his acoustic guitar accompany Nina’s vocalizations simply yet magnificently. He builds gently a fitting ambience, transporting us to the shade of a distant oasis in the middle of the desert. I’m impressed in the way he goes with the flow of her voice, oscillating smoothly between delicate melodies and angry acoustic riffing. It feels like he is translating her chants into energy, never being too discrete, or overdoing it, reinforcing the overall vibe.
She sings in ancient and modern eastern languages, Summerian, Akkadian, and Farsi, for each song respectively, and uses an Iranian daf drum and shruti box to develop a bit more the eastern vibe.
This EP might seem simple at first, and it might be, in its enactment, but more oft than not, minimalistic performances have a way of drawing unearthed potential and unravel some deeper insights into a band’s identity, which is the case here.
Why is this album worth listening to?
- Nina‘s voice alone is so powerful and charged with emotions, perfectly emphasized in this setting.
- Unceasing Lamentations showcases another side of Lowen’s identity through minimalistic atmospheres Lowen.
- It is an intimate trip to give you a sneak peak at middle eastern traditional music.
In what situation should you listen to this album?
At dusk, surrounded by ancient civilization’s ruins, in the middle of the Iranian desert.
Anything particular to note?
Nina Saedi is also known at More Fuzz as Mrs. PersianThunder, taking pictures in various festivals for you guys!