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Review: Lack The Low – One Eye Closed

Lack The Low is an artist from Melbourne. With a merry cohort of guests helping out in parts, a work by the name of One Eye Closed has been created that stands as a collected recording of songs for the bones in your ears to translate into something that can be perceived as audible and possibly in a most pleasing manner, or not.

Opening the album is “Do Your Worst”. The vocals carry well and the song overall is soft, gentle and strong, working well to introduce the shape and sounds of the album whilst being more than just an introduction. One Eye Closed embraces texture and atmosphere, so having “Do Your Worst” open as gently as it does works well in the album’s favour.

Throughout the album sounds are layered, usually expansive, atmospheric and warm. There seems to have been a lean toward more ambient use of sound rather than direct, but overall the album doesn’t feel like background music.

Percussion is present on a few of the songs but it is seldom traditional use. There’s a nice balance between more direct sounds and something more akin to atmospheric purpose, but the sound of each hit seems to be emphasised over being the backbone of the rhythm. However, the percussion does still do well toward providing structure on the songs it is utilised.

The vocals have a real rich, creamy sound that further supports the songs as additional melody despite sounding a fair bit at the forefront. Sometimes they are layered which adds a bit of depth, not once is there a hint of faltering during delivery. The louder, more emphasized notes come just as easily as the softer, more retracted ones whilst all sounding natural and passionate.

At times there’s restraint by omitting vocals for lengthy periods, allowing a lot more focus to shift toward the melodies and the sounds of which they are compromised. These moments work well as it allows more interplay in the songs whilst also allowing for more textural development to come forward.

The lyrics work well in both the context of the songs and the vocals themselves. They seem to be a mix of straightforward and more poetic and blend smoothly into each moment they’re used. Lines such as “Time is measured by a circle on a wall”, and “Don’t you think it’s time that you stopped living in my solitude?” are direct and simple, yet manage to express a lot more and develop a stronger image than if the said line was said with a greater amount of prose.

The closing track “God Knows Why” is just as strong as the rest of the album, but it bears mentioning due to how well it works. The song embraces the elements that the rest of One Eye Closed are comprised of whilst also progressing toward something else. It remains as expansive, atmospheric and gentle as the rest of the album whilst also embracing a more direct framework, working its way toward a climactic ending that does well to close the whole experience.

At its heart, One Eye Closed is not a conventional record and this works in its favour.
It is not the most lyrically upbeat album you’d come across, but it doesn’t feel cynical or downtrodden. There seems to be a lean toward optimism whilst lacking the cheese that that can entail. On top of that, there’s restraint where appropriate and the whole thing flows really well. The whole record is comprised of expansive sounds and textures that come together naturally, and the vocals, whilst prominent don’t come off as the sole focus. Lack The Low underplayed songs that could have so easily slipped into bombast and it paid off.

One Eye Closed might not be everyone’s cherry, but it offers plenty to those who give it the time.

One Eye Closed can be heard here.

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