Jason Lowe's self-titled debut takes a small emotional journey
Jason Lowe (Independent)
Each tune on Jason Lowe’s self-titled debut album (available at Bandcamp) takes its own small emotional journey. Usually backed by his full-sounding acoustic guitar, with open strings arrayed in sonorous tunings, he sings gentle songs of discovery, solitude, and connection.
An Australian now transplanted to the West Coast, the smooth-voiced singer seems particularly drawn to our vast Emily Carr landscapes, with titles like “Deeper Into Dusk” and “When a River Parts” conveying both comfort and loneliness. Occasionally adding his own bass, piano, and slide-guitar parts, he frequently recalls the wistful musings of folkies like Bert Jansch, Dougie MacLean, and Nick Drake—without the latter’s harmonic complexity.
In fact, there’s a sameness to these 10 songs when taken together. The first three numbers, for example, are powered by a similar rhythmic strum and are in related keys; the shuffle button can fix this small problem. Lowe’s piano skills are somewhat basic, and he could probably take a few more risks in both writing and production. For now, the compositions that combine several guitar sounds—as on the very satisfying closer, “Snow on the Cimmarons”—are the most enticing. Let’s see if his next record is all about life in the big city.