I find it impressive when music manages to make an impact on us with a short offering. Sometimes you’ll listen to a full album and feel nothing at all. Sometimes, a few seconds are all it takes for you to be immersed on something. I mean, I’ve never even heard of lowheaven before, but their debut EP collapsed was enough to put them on my radar. With the short runtime of 16mins (short even for EP standards), the Canadian newcomers managed to put out an extremely solid release that brings out the best you can find in heavygaze and post-hardcore influenced music.
The opener “cancer sleep” starts heavy and shouty with a breakdown riff, before transitioning into extremely solid, dreamy shoegaze with clean vocals that circles back to the heavy riffage. While you can certainly draw a few comparisons with artists like Holy Fawn and even Deafheaven‘s recent work I’d say that lowheaven already has quite of an original flair to them, perhaps on how they use their influences or how they approach the songwriting. Either way, a single song already convinced me to listen to the rest of it.
“retreated prime” quickly became my favorite on collapse, as this exactly the kind of shoegaze I like most. It is heavy, makes your head sway, and brings a certain kind of peace with it. The beginning of the song even reminded me a bit of the lighter Alcest moments, and I feel like that’s one of the greatest accolades you can earn in this genre. The following track “buried in” shows a faster, more aggressive and post-HC influenced side to the band, with fast drums and a chorus that’s very easy to sing along to, and it gets heavier than you expect it to. collapse finishes with “of us away”, a true banger that has a very apocalyptic vibe to it, and that riff could fit in any The Ocean album. It is quite impressive how it manages to create a very real, intense catharsis despite being a relatively short song. The full release goes through an array of heavy emotions, with sorrow, anger, and grief pouring out of it.
With just 4 songs, lowheaven managed to capture my attention with complete ease, had me going for lots of replays and already marks me down as excited for a full album. collapse is some of the most original music I’ve heard in the post-hardcore and shoegaze world in a while, and if this is just a debut EP, I’m sure they come out crushing when their first full album is out. They have the potential to become quite a big name on the scene if the quality found in collapse in any indication, so do yourself a favor and listen to this. It’s less than 20 minutes and it does absolute wonders with its runtime.