Expanding upon the breezy, synth-peppered formula of Heba, Lowly venture to increasingly abstract, often tonally ambivalent, climes on a sophomore offering that flits between cryptic allure and fizzy affability.
Loosely categorised as dream pop, despite their genre-bending antics, the Danish quintet seem comfortable in swerving through a myriad of dissonant stylistic manoeuvres, with staccato strings and ruminative sax fused with more ostentatious leftfield wanderings. Ascent to loftier excess, referenced in the album title, seems to be the guiding motif here; seeing ornate moments tempered with a degree of prosaicism, ebbing and flowing in an erosion of boundaries.
Avoiding immediate comparison, Hifalutin nevertheless occupies familiar territory in verging between slow-burning introspection and choppy trip-hop; exhibiting a sound that can be pinpointed midway between the output of Chromatics and Portishead. “Stephen” stands as a tight example of the former, with lead single “Baglaens” piercing through dense electronic haze to set a spright, distorted tempo. Soffie Viemose’s syncopated vocal range reinforces this sense of evolving miasmic mystique, skewing through shrouded Scandinavian soundscapes; forging a spontaneity that lulls and empowers, the zenith of which is achieved on "Wonder", an aptly titled climax to a series of inscrutable tracks.
This avant-garde trajectory can be tentatively attributed to the five-piece’s unorthodox creative process; recording both independently and within a collaborative group-centric context. The Aarhus-based outfit are attuned to a state of flux, adept at offsetting languid murmurings with knee-jerk impulsiveness, bubbling and lacerating in a richly layered chemistry. Modulating between grandiosity and relative constraint helps to root the band’s sound in an eerily-wrought hinterland; a template that deters the fabled afflictions of second album syndrome, securing itself as a credible successor to their spry breakout debut.