Toronto-based Lowell imported her soaring sound south to Washington, DC‘s DC9 on September 7th, 2014. She did not disappoint.
On a stage bathed in pink and blue light with instruments draped in white and pink tulle and entwined with blue, pulsing, tube lights, Elizabeth Lowell Boland brought her dreamy tone and bounce-drenched pop sugar into a tiny club in a personal and intimate experience.
She wore a short, see-through dress made of a wide latticed mesh. Sexy. On her chest: a large white heart, silk-screened with the word “Lowell.” Glittering jewels (affixed in a ‘V’-shape to her forehead) and a princess tiara helped turn her into an other-worldly, cotton-candy, disco fairy, which, went perfectly with the bubbly sounds percolating from synth and guitar. Her pitch-perfect singing and sculpted popscapes tingled ears but didn’t draw direct attention to her deeply personal lyrical content. Vocally, sonic elements brought to mind such artists as Bjork, Au Revoir Simone, and Lykke Li.
She capered and danced around in her socks, both on stage, and out into the audience. At one point she admonished the crowd, “You guys can move closer to the stage, you know!” The shy audience crept forward, but only slightly, so she decided to engage them personally, at one point playfully slam-dancing into several audience members (to evident delight).
The blonde singer did awesome renditions of such favorites as “Cloud 69,” “The Bells,” “88,” “Palm Trees,” and “LGBT.”
While the initial audience was sparse, the crowd grew continually denser as the set went on, and, by the end the house was rather packed. They played songs from both her EP and full-length album, including her 2014 release We Loved Her Dearly. On their final song, she herself took up an electric guitar, and rocked the house down. The applause at the end of the set was deafening and enthusiastic.
Deserved applause, to be sure, after a strongly energetic performance by an up-and-coming artist with an ear for unique and catchy songwriting, showing a maturity and depth that belies her years.
All Photos | Katherine Gaines
DC9, Washington, D.C.