In a moment awash in guy/girl duos, anthemic arena-folk-pop bands, and presidential debates producing anxiety levels previously achieved only by haunted drive-in theaters screening Jerry Springer reruns at ear-splitting volume, Lowland Hum is a breath of fresh air. Daniel and Lauren invite their listeners to share in an intimate and vulnerable space they have created together. In the live setting, the duo offers an immersive experience of thoughtful songcraft interspersed with audience Q&A and extemporaneous songs about the day’s happenings. Their recordings take listeners on a journey through relatable, imagistic poetry exploring themes of memory, longing, confession and identity, and drawing attention to the often unnoticed resonance of the everyday.
Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Lowland Hum is husband/wife team Daniel and Lauren Goans. Together they are a prolific, two-person creative factory. They write, arrange and produce all of their own music, and have honed a cohesive visual arts aesthetic to match the hushed simplicity of their sound.
The duo’s beginning starts with Daniel, a courageous dreamer, songwriter and producer. Daniel and Lauren met in North Carolina in 2009 when he crashed a party at her apartment. The next year, Daniel asked Lauren to design the album art for a solo record he was working on. He also invited Lauren to sing harmony on one of tracks. This was Lauren’s first experience with recording, and what started out as a singular guest appearance morphed into Lauren’s voice being added to about half of the album.
Initially, Lauren performed with Daniel, singing harmonies on songs he had written, but within a year or so, she was cowriting and arranging on virtually all of the material. Lowland Hum formed officially in 2012, a few months after the two were married and their collaboration deepened. In the years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut Native Air (2013), the duo has toured the country almost nonstop. In 2014 they followed up their debut with Four Sisters, a conceptual EP and video series, and then, in 2015, they released their eponymous sophomore full-length album, garnering a slew of praise, including an NPR First Listen. Lowland Hum has performed in diverse settings all over the country ranging from large folk festivals and theaters to living rooms and gardens.
Lauren’s background in visual art asserts itself in the duo’s collaboration significantly. She has created all of the band’s artwork and design as well as several transportable installation pieces that augmented the band’s live performances. She is also responsible for an impressive collection of music videos often using found footage from public domain archives. Over the years, Lauren has designed five editions of handmade lyric books that the duo passes out to audiences so they can read or sing along as the moment suits.
Lowland Hum’s songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. They continue to attract a growing body of listeners around the world. Daniel and Lauren spent the summer of 2016 creating their third full-length album in a friend’s attic. The album, Thin, is due out on February 10, 2017, and is their “deepest collaboration to date” according to the band. They will support the release on with a nationwide tour in the first half of 2017.