Hailing from the West Midlands, Kim Lowings evokes the bohemian spirit reminiscent of the singer-songwriter movement that flourished so colourfully during the late 60s and early 70s. Lowings is however anything but a pastiche, resolutely stamping her own identity on her work. Singing with a voice that boasts a warm femininity, and avoiding the weary, self-indulgent cliches worn by many songwriters, it’s a hard heart who wouldn’t be smitten with Lowings’ engaging and often breezy disposition.
Lowings’ dulcimer features heavily throughout this EP, lending a distinct sound, and adding much to the carefree spirit that blossoms so radiantly. Opening track, “Did You Ever,” transports the listener to a sanguine dreamscape, contrasting the playful innocence of childhood with the more troubled aspects of adult life. Lowings demonstrates a restless character and possibly a good deal of ambition on “Sapphire,” where she seems to eschew the familiarity of her hometown in search of fresh life experiences that carry her to distant shores.
On occasion Lowings’ writing borrows subtly from the language of traditional ballads, instilling her contemporary freshness with an unmistakeable essence of the tradition, particularly noticeable in the poetic grace with which she weaves the natural world in to her lyrics. Closing track, “The Flounder,” portrays this aspect most prominently, sounding to all intents and purposes as if it might well be an age-old traditional ballad.
This five-track EP serves as a lovely introduction to Kim Lowings, and is packed with promise aplenty that will all but ensure she commands a prominent future amongst the folk scene.
Oh, and… I think I’ve just fallen in love with the dulcimer.