Words and photos by Carol Simpson
Lowen is about to be introduced to the world by way of her upcoming EP, Only In My Dreams. The EP won’t be released until October 25th, but we had the chance to pick her brain about the experiences and process leading up to the release. It has been preceded by two singles Morning, Mourning and Only In My Dreams.
The journey to this EP seems to have been a long time in the making. Something that flowed naturally from within Lowen as the innate course of life, unexpected experiences, and searching for adventure. Although not written intentionally from the start, Only In My Dreams was meant to come together. “The process wasn’t super fluid. I was sort of writing it without realizing I was writing it at the time. I started writing a ton when I was traveling a ton abroad. So I lived in a van in New Zealand for a month and Southeast Asia for a few months. I was traveling a lot and in that time I was processing a lot. Writing down a lot of that in my phone which was super cathartic. Once I actually intentionally started writing for myself again as an artist I revisited a lot of that. A lot of that ended up becoming some of the songs. Most of the songs, the ideas ended up coming together with two of the same co-writers for four songs and the other two were written with two of my producers. It was like a squad of four different writers.”
“I woke up to a lot of things. It changed how I see the world. How I see art. How I’m pursuing my art.”
While most people only dream of selling their belongings and wandering abroad, Lowen was bold enough to do it. That intentional decision has helped usher in this new era of her music and who she is as an artist. “Pretty much I left the U.S. I decided to sell all of my things and save up. Leading up to the trip we saved for about 6-8 months. We just grinded really hard. I needed to go figure myself out outside of music. I had been through a lot and I had been through a horrible break up. That was sort of the journey I had to take. I woke up to a lot of things. It changed how I see the world. How I see art. How I’m pursuing my art.”
She has described the journey and process as being “humanizing”. Humanizing is defined as making something more “refined and understandable”. The first two singles off of Only In My Dreams embody that context. As she channeled her grief, growth, and enlightenment into the project, the honesty and raw emotion transcends through the music. The instruments being as dynamic as human emotion. Morning, Mourning takes on a soulful indie sound while the title track teeters between electro-pop influence and indie-rock. Only In My Dreams has a captivating visual attached to it as it tackles the possibility of meeting with a deceased loved one in your dreams.
An essential part of the awakening process included changing the vehicle through which she delivers her art. Lowen is an ode to her mother’s maiden name. Going by Lowen gives the new songs a special soul and identification to tie into the raw emotion. “I had been going under my name when I started making music in college and I did a lot of really cool things at the time. With sort of how I have evolved, a lot of my life has transformed in major ways creatively as well. Since there had been such a gap of time where I did leave and take a sabbatical of sorts to find myself a little bit deeper I thought I should leave that part of my story behind. Since I had previously released things under my name it would have been really hard to start over using my name again.”
Going forward, the flux and flow of the past few years has changed the creative and emotional process for Lowen. Everything is significantly more streamlined for her. “It has changed my writing and me as an artist because I don’t view things separately anymore. So like Emily Kopp the human being is the artist. It’s all encompassing for me. I need to live life in order to write for myself. Life being part of the process is my art. What I’ve learned is that in order to make music it is important to intentionally remove myself and I need to put myself in uncomfortable situations. I need to be living in a van and backpacking. My vacations look a little different. I need adventure and I need to download life a little and make conscious decisions to immerse myself in experiences so I have things to write about.”
Lowen is going to continue to challenge herself, both personally and artistically. Her EP will be out in the world soon and will be the next catalyst in journey through life. She will continue to seek adventure and self-discovery as she navigates the next chapter. “Stagnancy is the ultimate fear. Not even in like career or personally. It’s like in the idea of routine. It is important to have those rituals, but the idea of feeling a little bit uncomfortable and finding new ways to think and finding the world and process the world is really important. I never want to think I know everything about everything so I need to put myself in those situations. Even if it’s a camping trip over the weekend an hour away outside of Nashville. I need to do that.”
Give Only In My Dreams a listen when it’s released this Friday and dive into Lowen’s world. We could all learn something from her sense of adventure and calming spirit. “I am a person that is constantly digging deeper into myself and trying to elevate and process life in the best way I can and put that out into the world. I hope that whatever I can share invites people to do that with their own lives as well.”
If you’re local to Nashville, watch Lowen perform at her EP release show on October 26th. RSVP here.