If you close your eyes while listening to folk duo Lowland Hum‘s mix for our Car Tunes and Cartoons series, it feels like you are driving down an unmarked road in a wheat field, somewhere in the Midwest, displacing a giant wake of dust. The husband-and-wife duo of Daniel and Lauren Goans conjures the same image in my head with their own music, except that I imagine that it is raining furiously on that same dusty road while listening to their eponymous debut album.
If you live anywhere with all four seasons, you know that either of those scenarios share equal probability throughout springtime, and since winter 2015 was full of historic snow storms (it even hailed in LA once!), even those chilly storm-filled days seem like a godsend by comparison. Lowland Hum’s mix and illustration are essentially pleas to the weather gods to end the numbing stillness of winter and deliver us into the less severe, though equally unpredictable patterns of the grow season.
In the mix you’ll find everything from Van Morrison to Nettles — basically Lowland Hum’s go-to tracks to summon and praise the mollifying post-March months. As you can see in their illustration, they really need it this year. Below the drawing, Daniel explains the thinking behind this revitalizing mix with more color.
Lowland Hum on their mix:
This mix is meant to touch on and augment the feelings of vast potential that occur on the first few days of spring. Every year when these special days roll around, we experience an unbridled expectancy and the air has an electric quality about it. The songs we selected have some element of surprise in them as well. The first time you step outside after many cold months and feel the relief of sun on your skin, it’s unexpected and so good. Lauren’s illustration includes at the center, a small drawing of a dog’s profile that I have been drawing the exact same way since middle school.
We recently enjoyed a small, premature slice of spring while listening to Herb Alpert on our roof at home and naturally had to include a track on our playlist. Bob Dylan’s song is from a western he wrote the soundtrack for and starred in. That album has become a weekend and springtime staple for us over the years. The Nettles song “Brando” retells the plot of T. Williams’ brilliant “Streetcar Named Desire” and, by some miracle of arrangement and expert lyricism, captures the emotional arc of the play. This tune is special to us on many levels as the band are close friends, but the movements in the song continue to surprise and pull me in even after many listens. Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” has accompanied us on many a springtime bike ride. With enigmatic and improvisational flexibility, the tune conjures images from all over…’Between the viaducts of your dream…putting on his little red shoes.’ Mystery and possibility abound!