Lo Moon’s Lowell channeled the dark side of love into the band’s music


Nothing builds character like a little adversity, which is why Lo Moon’s Matt Lowell learned so much more about life while struggling in Los Angeles than he did at the famed Berklee College of Music in Los Angeles. Boston.

“When I first moved to Los Angeles, I really felt like things were going to take off,” the singer-guitarist said from a tour van heading to Minneapolis. “Then a recording contract fell apart and I spent a year in the opposite kind of headspace, going back to basics and writing more songs. It was really daunting, going from ‘That going to make it” to not make it, and having to spend a year figuring things out. But it was the best year of my life – more educational than my years at Berklee, and certainly more beneficial. After that year, ‘Loveless’ was over and everything suddenly started to make more sense.

First set up on streaming services, where it quickly exploded, “Loveless” is where things finally gelled for Lowell, who had been playing in bands since his teenage years on the East Coast. Finally getting noticed after years of trying to build a career, the singer was careful not to rush. Instead of quickly shooting a video and then returning to the studio for a follow-up single, he kept a low profile, honing Lo Moon’s lush, romantic sound with bandmates Crisanta Baker and Sam Stewart. This made the trio something of a novelty in these times of online instant gratification: a band with a sense of mystery.

“A couple of times with ‘Loveless,’ I thought, ‘Maybe we’re really onto something and people are really into it,'” Lowell says. “But even when the song was finally mixed and mastered, I didn’t know it would be special for the others, even though I knew it was special for me and the band.”

After hitting the road opening for Temper Trap, Lo Moon eventually decamped to Seattle, where, working with former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist-turned-producer Chris Walla, the trio recorded their self-titled album.

The album’s 10 grand and beautifully textured tracks are marked by epic reverb-drenched drum fills, drifting synths and Lowell’s soul-injected vocals. Lo Moon clearly had a vision for the album, and Walla helped him arrive at a sound that nods to the neon-saturated 80s without ever sounding derivatively retro. Yes, it’s possible to love Phil Collins, Talk Talk and blue-eyed soul while creating something original.

“We tried to do the songs in so many different ways, and eventually you hit on something you trust,” Lowell says. “It was about trying out different drum grooves, different guitar parts and synth sounds. It was about getting used to playing with each other as a group, each finding their own role. It was also very important that the record sound like it was based on human emotions, to accompany our first impulses.

That wasn’t the only lesson Lowell learned during his reflective year in Los Angeles. Pay attention to the lyrics on Lo Moon and you’ll notice love is a theme that comes up repeatedly in the songs, sometimes in a positive way, and sometimes in a way that suggests it’s hard to get out of bed even when the sun is shining. It’s not an accident. What they probably don’t teach Berklee is that sometimes you have to work in the dark to get to a better place.

“I had been through a pretty shitty relationship in New York right before I moved to LA,” Lowell says. “My view of the world changed and I ended up writing about the past relationship I had. That view changed again as I went through the record, which ended up being written about six years old Everything, including falling in love and falling in love, is all in there.

Lo Moon plays Cobalt on Sunday (April 15).

Video of Lo Moon – Loveless (Video)

Lo Moon, “without love”

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