film photos + interview by Kayla Smith
Nashville based artist, Lowen, will release her debut EP, Only In My Dreams, on October 25th. Leading up to the release, she’s put out two singles, “Morning, Mourning” and the title track, “Only In My Dreams”, each accompanied by stunning music videos. I recently caught up with Lowen before her NYC launch party performance at Arlene’s Grocery, to snap some photographs and talk about her musical processes.
You just released a music video for your single, “Only In My Dreams”, and it is visually stunning. I love the bed full of Polaroids! What was the process of creating the video like?
Aw, thank you so much. I knew I wanted the visual for this song to feel otherworldly, and almost unidentifiable… sort of like a dream. Think…Avatar meets Tame Impala light show meets some sort of fantasy. I wanted to convey that trippy, hard to describe aspect of dreaming. I wasn’t sure how we were going to be able to accomplish that, but then things sort of fell into place really naturally. The process ended up being really seamless and organic. There just so happened to be an immersive art exhibit in town called “Otherworld Encounter” that my wife stumbled upon. After going one day with her brother, she came home and told me it was everything I had been talking about and dreaming up in my head. When we reached out to them about wanting to film my project inside of theirs, they welcomed the idea with open arms. My videographer (Luke Harvey) and I we went at like 2pm on a Wednesday when nobody was there and just explored, and filmed all day long. It was a blast.
The single is the title track of your debut EP, Only In My Dreams, which is due out on October 25th. What are you hoping that people take away from it?
With this being my debut release, and first body of work out in the world, I hope people can get a sense of who I am as an artist and as a person. I want to invite people in.
What’s your songwriting process like?
My songwriting process is just that - a process. It’s definitely not linear. Lyrics mostly start out as a stream of consciousness in their initial state. Random- messy - raw pieces of whatever is going on in my brain at that moment. I try to say yes to the ideas when they come, even if the timing isn’t convenient. I usually type things out or sing melodies into my iPhone because that’s what I’m able to access the quickest… but the situations always differ.
When I sit down to write a song (either alone or with co-writers), those streams of consciousness or nuggets of ideas get refined, and pieced together slowly but surely, like a puzzle. Sometimes that means working it out on my guitar, and other times, it means opening a session and getting some sonic ideas going on in a track. Ultimately, I try to find the message, and main element that sticks out, and hone in on what the song is from there.
After spending some years on the road, you’re now planted in Nashville, TN. How do you feel living there has affected your music?
I think being around other people who are passionately pursuing their craft is an inspiring energy to be around. That alone is enough to help me to grow in my own. I’m surrounded by artists. I love being able to call my friends at 10PM to come over and write songs all night if we want to. It’s helped me dive deep, and have the courage to say I’m an artist, as opposed to “I do music”. It’s all encompassing now, that that’s ignited my creativity in a whole new way. That’s something I’d never fully felt before.
What’s your first musical memory?
Ooof - it’s hard to narrow down so here are a few.
Singing Beatles songs with my dad in the car and playing percussion on the glove compartment.
Learning how to get my little hands to play barre chords on the guitar & figuring out cover songs for hours and hours.
Being a part of the lullaby league in the local production of Wizard of Oz.
What are you listening to lately?
Alec Benjamin, Emily King, Idan Raichel Project, Kacey Musgraves
What are you most excited about for the rest of 2019?
Releasing this EP. Writing. Doing yoga. Spending time with my loved ones.