The Lowland Hundred - Adit
The slowcore genre is sometimes an overlooked genre. Usually mistaken as “sad folk with lots of weird noises," it's a safe haven for bands who like a quiet approach, while sonically experimenting with electronic sounds, synths and feedbacks (see : Idaho, Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon).
The Lowland Hundred could arguably fit inside the slowcore box, with the added bonus of a bluesy jazz feeling. 'The Hushing' kicks off Adit, their sophomore album, and it veers from being a gloomy lamentation into a slow groove jazz piece that never lifts off, it just jumps from branch to branch, peering into the overcast sky for direction, never finding it. The loud guitar moments juxtaposed with the sweet haunting voice is a grand hook though.
It isn't a happy album at all. You will wonder from time to time when did it all get so miserable, and it's possibly a good soundtrack for the current depressing news you get on the telly. 'Scree Talus' is particularly sad and almost minimalistic, with the music being sparse and the sound of a coastline the only constant sound throughout. It's an excellent track, but you will feel a bit down after it's done (it's 12 minutes long). Bring a hanky for this one.
It's the glacial pace and wonderful ambient noises that make all this sadness bearable. Like a Gothic play full of atmosphere, the piano driven melodies (slightly minimalistic in approach) are the backbone of The Lowland Hundred. Even a short interlude ('Mariamne's garden') feels rich with a few notes of piano that are given the solemn silence to become stronger.
The Lowland Hundred's Adit is not album for people wanting smiley ditties. It's very stern and honest about its intentions: creating a soundscape expansive and moody, like a John Constable painting. It won't be an easy ride (two songs clock over ten minutes) but it's worth your time if you want something different that has both a story to tell and the same striking sound of a lone piano being played in a big concert hall.