Somewhere in the realm of the Indie/Americana stylings of Sparklehorse and The Tindersticks floats the somber atmospherics of Between the Lotus and the Han, the new album from Sam Lowry. The Bloomington, Ind.-based singer/songwriter haunts some familiar ground on Lotus, but his crafty approach manages to find new ways to say things already spoken. With a deflated, Leonard Cohen-like grumble and an unexpected musical backdrop that blends together traditional acoustic instruments like banjo, guitar and fiddle with warm yet tricky drum loops and vintage-sounding keyboards, Lowry has concocted an honest, dark and surprisingly melodic exercise in aural subtlety that works to maximum effect. His textural, slanted and poetic take on Roots music gives new meaning to the phrase "American Gothic."
Lowry will be performing in the Southgate House Parlour on Friday with Swissfarlo, Folk and Compiler.