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Lowlights | self-titled (Darla)
Eagle-eyed readers may recognise Lowlights moniker from CwaS #11's covermount, where we debuted a demo from this Californian outfit. Essentially a solo project for multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Dameon Lee, Lowlights inhabits that lonesome territory between bedsit balladry and desert-wide soundscapes.
Forming his first band (a power pop outfit called Scared of Chaka) in the early '90s, Lee had six albums under his belt before parting company with his bandmates and eventually emerging with the songs that comprise this self-titled collection. Washes of pedal steel and analog keyboards blend with a gently strummed acoustic and Lee's delicate but lived-in voice. A tremelo-treated electric guitar chord swings by now and then, evoking a Sergio Leone vibe, and the subtle deployment of percussion and other textures keep it interesting whenever things threaten to lapse into lazy repetition. The inspired inclusion of a track sung by chanteuse Brisa Roché further adds to the album's appeal, and with songs as gently infectious as Flowers (in Her Hair) and Restless and Young, 'Lowlights' provides an ideal soundtrack to a Greyhound trip across the mid-West, or an imagined one from the confines of a rented room elsewhere in the world.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003