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Music Review: Lowpines – ‘In Silver Halides’ Exudes Lush Shimmering Flows of Soft Prog Rock

February 23, 2018 marks the release of In Silver Halides, the new album from Lowpines. The musical project of British singer-songwriter Oli Deakin, Lowpines’ sound blends gentle acoustic prog rock with pop and ambient elements, creating soft gossamer-textured music.

The album was recorded in a greenhouse in rural England and at Bella Union Studios in London. It features Jamie Deakin on drums and Jesse Chandler on flute. Prior to Lowpines, Deakin collaborated with Lyla Foy, was a founding member of Bear Driver, the fuzz pop band, and has mixed and produced Toothless, Germans, Swimming Bell, and Dream Grant.

In Silver Halides comprises nine tracks. “We Come Right” rides a wistful, dreamy, and tender-flowing prog rock melody with sparkling touches of dulcet piano and continuous pulsing drums. Deakin’s hushed vocals infuse the song with a waning ambience. “Broken Wing” travels on a streaming steady beat, as tantalizing shimmers of harmonics emerge in coruscating waves of color. The warm prog rock melody assumes a glistening orchestral feel that’s intoxicating.

“Come on Chaos” opens with twinkling hues of acoustic guitars and a composed polyrhythmic beat. Deakin’s voice echoes with tender timbres, imbuing the music with dreamy psychedelic aromas sifting and drifting.

“Parasite” starts off with thudding drums and emergent synths floating overhead, giving the music a frosty feel, like snow falling on a cold day. I love the soothing whisper of the vocals on this song. “Chambers in the Canopy” presents remote glossy acoustic guitars and a twinkling piano combining to form a creamy, pale melody that’s sublimely captivating. Mellow strings infuse the tune with swelling sonic hues.

“Gold Leaf & Amethyst” features crisp percussion, gorgeous harmonics, and Deakin’s soft, expansive voice, as well as radiating background vocal harmonies adding wafting, glowing filaments. “Connecting the Fireflies” offers a measured melody punctuated by a migratory piano and pastel synths simmering underneath. As the music ascends, the tune takes on potent coloration that’s spellbinding, like the vivid dream of a dream.

“Miracle Child” features a rolling nursery rhyme melody riding a throbbing bassline which juxtaposes the brilliant crystalline tones of the flute. “Perfect Silence” changes things up, adding a muscular pop-flavored prog rock feel. A rumbling bassline and warbling synths coalesce to form a powerfully attractive texture gleaming with metallic tones. Deakin’s voice attains a wheeling energy pulsating with passionate pigments.

The highlights of In Silver Halides are the silky-smooth melodies and Deakin’s hushed velvety voice. This is an album rife with beautiful, soft music tip-toeing between orchestral prog rock and buttery acoustic/classicism, resulting in subtle, elegant sonority. In Silver Halides projects lush excellence.

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About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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