Earth Falls Quiet, Heaven and Hell Sing, the new EP from Lowfaith, feels like windows-down mountain driving: speakers starting to blow, roads getting a little wavy, mountain shadows growing. It’s a fuzzy wall between you and the band, shaking a little with the bass drum. Lowfaith spends time on the EP to develop clusters of synthesizers and guitars, obfuscating the vocals in a dense forest of sound.
Listen to “Clean” for example, well reflected in its neon and shadow video. Layers of black metal tremolo give way to a positively danceable melody. The vocals are shrouded in layers of fuzzy filters and the moment of clean, warbly guitar towards the end feels like coming up for air. Lowfaith are quick to plunge back into shadows and the outro of the song feels like the end of a Slytherin house party, gauzy melodies echoing in a cave. “Holy Hell”, the moody album opener, is similarly rooted in an excitable gallop of drums, twisted by guitars that seem to droop with every attempt at melody. The vocals are subdued and, as the chorus explodes into writhing countermelody, they echo the guitar in an uncanny wail. Even as the song drives into a distorted sort of sunset, the beat remains, feverishly transfiguring the melancholy of the melody.
In “Waking Moment”, the thunderous closing to the EP, the band turns trauma over and over, centering a deep anxiety in a pulsing cacophony of drums and guitars. The song is about a car crash and the way it echoed through the survivor’s life, and the lyrics drain the narrator: ‘I’ve been feeling so weak / With this new fear of falling asleep.’ It’s a visceral impression of pain, and the extra distance between listener and singer, emphasized by the layers of fuzz, feels striking. The claustrophobic production reflects an anxious, cloistered perspective.
Lowfaith translate some of their home into music – the huge solitude of the Colorado high desert, echoing in a rim of mountains. Their previous two albums lay a foundation, and are certainly worth exploring, but Earth Falls Quiet, Heaven and Hell Sing is an adventurous next step that perfectly fuses the upbeat roots of the songwriting to the dissonant, hazy atmosphere. The water is opaque, but it feels lovely to sink into.
Earth Falls Quiet, Heaven and Hell Sing will be released on August 14, 2020, with all proceeds benefiting the Elijah McClain Family Fund. Follow Lowfaith online (Facebook | Instagram) and check out physical and digital listening options at Bandcamp.