Artist/Band: Lowland Hum
Members: Daniel and Lauren Goans (Husband/Wife team)
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Latest Album/Release: Thin (February 2017)
Influences: Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, Paul Simon
TrunkSpace: How would you describe your music?
Lowland Hum: Minimalist, Harmony-driven, Indie Acoustic
TrunkSpace: You recently released your album “Thin.” Does the album encompass a particular theme or viewpoint and what do you hope listeners take from it?
Lowland Hum: This album explores themes of limitation, exhaustion and frailty, but also growth, patience and hope. I think it may be our most self-aware collection of songs yet, so we are delving into some heavy themes but not taking ourselves too seriously.
TrunkSpace: What did the two of you attempt to do differently with this album to branch out creatively? Did you set out to do something musically or lyrically that you had yet to accomplish in the past?
Lowland Hum: We chose to limit ourselves in these recordings to close to what we can pull off live just the two of us. So the instrumentation is much more sparse on this album. It was a great challenge.
TrunkSpace: You recorded “Thin” with your own studio equipment in a friend’s attic. Did that control over the process allow you to approach the album as a whole at your own pace?
Lowland Hum: Definitely. We got to take our time with this one, which was really rewarding.
TrunkSpace: You two are married. Many people believe that couples shouldn’t work together, but, what about create together? Is there conflict that can carry over between the two worlds… home and the creative space?
Lowland Hum: We literally spend every waking and sleeping moment together. So relational conflict is unavoidable. At this point it kind of feels like there is not much separation between home and work. We work out of our home when we are not on the road. Our relationship informs our work and our work informs our relationship. It can be challenging but maybe because we don’t really know any other way, we like it.
TrunkSpace: It’s long been said that being in a band is like being in a marriage, but when you’re actually married, it takes it to to a whole different level. What advice do you give to other artists who are trying to maintain a happy band “marriage” in order to achieve their creative dreams?
Lowland Hum: It can be a challenge to keep an open creative space in which all partners feel safe to explore ideas. We recommend something we call “Yes Town.” Yes Town is a set amount of time in which you say yes to every idea. It can be hard to get creative momentum if you try to edit and trouble shoot at the same time that you are trying to generate ideas. Yes Town lets each partner involved take ideas to their ultimate conclusion, otherwise you may be snuffing out a good idea before it has had the chance to be fully formed. Later on there is a time for editing, saying no, and being critical, but not until you have left a safe space for exploration.
TrunkSpace: Making music that connects with people is all about honesty and emotion. Is it easier to deliver on that when the person you’re creating with is someone who you have shared in every conceivable emotion with?
Lowland Hum: There is definitely a certain level of safety we feel with one another. We work hard to push and challenge each other in our writing, while also cultivating space for vulnerability.
TrunkSpace: How important is the creation of your music in your own emotional journey? Is it used as a tool… to get you through particular life moments, good or bad?
Lowland Hum: We are both pretty big on processing, whether that be verbal processing, or processing through journaling and contemplative time. Not everything we write is autobiographical, but I think it is impossible to keep ourselves and our personal processes out of our writing entirely. Some little bit of who we are or what we are learning or thinking about always finds its way into our songs in some way.
TrunkSpace: With your songs so laced with emotion, is it comforting to know that your music may help others get through those same particular life moments?
Lowland Hum: When we write a song, we go into it knowing that it will mean different things to different people. You can’t control what it might “do” to or for a listener. This aspect of songwriting is really exciting to us. Sometimes something we have written will take on a new, unintended meaning even to us years after we have written it. It is sort of like you put this thing in motion, with some intentions, but it takes on a life of its own almost immediately.
TrunkSpace: What can fans expect from Lowland Hum in 2017?
Lowland Hum: We are spending a lot of 2017 on the road, to share these new songs with audiences all over the country. After taking a slightly slower year in 2016 to write and record “Thin” we are excited to get back into the rhythms of road life.