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MCLA Presents! Lowland Hum

with Anna Tivel and House Sparrow

March 30th, 2019 @ 7:00pm

It’s 5:15 in the morning in a historic apartment building in downtown Charlottesville called The Pink Warehouse. Lauren and Daniel Goans, who you will know as the married, world-traveling, singer/songwriting folk duo Lowland Hum, are making their fourth full-length record, Glyphonic, in their studio apartment on the top floor. On top of a bookshelf above the window, there’s a plastic bin collecting black water that drips through a crack in the roof. The reason the Goanses are awake so early is to track guitars for their new album before the rest of Charlottesville rises. They’ll continue to track throughout the day, taking breaks only by force of noise intrusions: construction, trucks, and the quaking of the entire building as trains pass on the tracks within an arm’s reach of the back stoop. These early morning hours will prove dramatically valuable for the quiet they afford. As the world has continued to grow louder around them, Lowland Hum have spent their career refining the particular power of their self-imposed restraint. Glyphonic is the purest distillation of this thesis to date, setting about the difficult work of finding stillness and meaning in the midst of chaos: a collection of quietudes created and savored among all this present noisiness. Glyphonic is Lowland Hum's fourth full-length record of original material following 2017's Thin. The band has spent the last two years on the road in both the US and Europe with the likes of Josh Ritter, Penny and Sparrow, and The Oh Hellos. Over an expansive career they've earned critical praise from NPR, Paste, Huffington Post, American Songwriter, The Washington Post and more.

ANNA TIVEL reaches for that thread of understanding with her music, that moment of recognition, of shared experience. There are hundreds of thousands of miles on her touring odometer and each town is a tangled web of heartache and small reasons to believe. She gravitates toward the quiet stories of ordinary life. A homeless veteran sitting on a bench to watch the construction of a luxury hotel. A woman wondering about the life of the daughter she had to give up for adoption. Someone changing shape, someone falling in love, someone all alone. 

“Tivel’s characters are both common and unforgettable,” Ann Powers of NPR writes, “ She possesses a genuine poet's sense that words matter more than persona, or a showy performance. Her images linger, and become populated with the energy of the real.”

With three full-length albums out on Portland’s well-loved Fluff & Gravy Records and a fourth due out this April, Tivel continues to touch on a common human thread. Her latest release,  ‘Small Believer’ was heralded by NPR as an “album that repeatedly achieves this exquisite balance of the quotidian and the sublime.” Her newest album ‘The Question’ was recorded mostly live at Hive studio in Eau Claire, WI, engineered by the esteemed Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens)  and produced by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard.

HOUSE SPARROW are a two-person band driven by synthesizers, tenor guitar, Francesca’s heavenly voice, and a lot of rumination on nature, waiting, death, and time. Band members Francesca Shanks and Joe Aidonidis combine their talents to create a dreamy wall of sound that’s worth a close listen.