Release Date: Sep 16, 2014
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Left-Field Pop
After much ado, and about a year of steady performing on the local scene, 23-year-old Toronto-via-Calgary indie pop singer (soon to be indie pop star) Lowell drops her debut full-length. It was worth the wait. We Loved Her Dearly proves she can write both sultry, melancholic slow burners that make Lana Del Rey seem like a ray of sunshine (I Killed Sara V., Summertime) and legit party anthems that compel us to scream absurd lyrics like "Money hey! Money woo!" the same way our hands automatically turn into assault weapons whenever M.I.A.'s Paper Planes starts playing.
Toronto pop singer Lowell kicked 2014 off with the release of I Killed Sara V., a five-song EP that found her exorcising her difficult past and refining the knack for songwriting she first evinced on an EP with Apparatjik in late 2012. Just over six months later, she's returned with a full-length that makes good on the promise of her previous work.Half of that work is here, anyway: the five Sara V. tracks are all present and good as ever — the stomping "88" and the elegiac title track, especially — and the remaining seven show that Lowell doesn't misfire.
Sometimes rowdy, frequently playful, and brimming with spark, the debut album by Canadian pop singer Lowell (Elizabeth Lowell Boland) covers a lot of ground over its 12 tracks. From suggestive, digital sludge-pop romps like "Cloud 69" to good-natured, socially minded affirmations like the catchy cheer leading of "LGBT," We Loved Her Dearly puts the young Torontonian's variety on full display. Brought to life by a committee of producers that includes Swedish veteran Martin Terefe (Ron Sexsmith, Train, KT Tunstall) and British songwriter Paul Herman (Corinne Bailey Rae, Emeli Sande), along with several others, the album contains a host of great ideas and sounds, but with all those cooks in the kitchen, it can sometimes feel a bit unfocused.
Canada’s Lowell is debatably better known in Europe than she is on her home turf. She was a member of the supergroup Apparatjik, which featured members of Coldplay, Mew and a-ha, and she performed with them as a headliner at the 2012 Roskilde Festival in front of 60,000 people. Conversely, when she played an arts festival in Ottawa, Canada, this past August, her name was on the posters promoting the event in teeny, tiny type – beneath Ottawa acts who don’t have the international reach that Lowell arguably does.