Mo Lowda & the Humble released their self-titled album, Mo Lowda & the Humble, on March 3rd. We decided to do a deep dive into the new body of work ahead of the band’s upcoming show at the Charleston Pour House this Friday, March 17th, where they will be supporting flipturn.
Mo Lowda & the Humble is a 12-song composite of music that ushers in a new era of sound for the group. Five of the tracks on the album were previously released as singles: “Beachtown,” “Kya,” “Restive,” “O.O.Y.O.,” and “Coast is Waiting.”
The first track, “Finally/Bet the House,” is sprawling, beginning with an echoing, cavernous atmosphere that sets up the listener for an album that will feel deep and expansive.
The yin and yang of two guitar sounds, one bold, another keeping the pace, drives many of the tracks, though not all: “Restive” is more focused on percussion, with zipping guitar and livelier vocals.
While much of the album has a sort of reverberating, melancholy edge, songs like “All Good Fun” and “Barricades” maintain a sun-soaked punchiness, the bass playing a more upbeat role, the lyrics fun and centered around romance.
“Kya,” released last fall, remains one of the standout tracks. Inspired by the novel “Where the Crawdads Sing,” the song features a pared-back soundscape, thumping drums, stripped-down guitar, and deftly rendered vocals.
It also showcases some of the richest lyricism on the album, with verses like “Queen of the Wetland / Diamond in the sky.”
Toward the end of the album, “Unravels” shows off Mo Lowda’s knack for crafting textured instrumental compositions. Keys, guitar, and percussion all build off one another, flowing into a dance that does feel a bit like a thread unraveling.
The final track, “Dog at the Pound,” brings it all together again. Driving guitar and precise drums form around vocals that dip and dive, start and stop.
“I was ready to forgive and forget / Then I heard through the vine that you just went through the same shit” Caiola sings. “Being left behind like a dog at the pound” is the leading imagery, and it’s rendered even more powerful through vigorous playing.
The chorus has a more layered, anthemic sound, and a big band instrumental jam is where we think the album will end, until we’re surprised when it’s just Caiola’s voice and an acoustic guitar, closing the track with a stirring tenderness.
Mo Lowda & the Humble shows moody intensity, but also a freshness; a gameness to play with tempo, sound, and form. Caiolas’ vocals embody a certain juxtaposition: he sounds contemplative, bordering on mournful at times, then, just as quickly, triumphant, all the while maintaining a captivating resonance.
For those lucky enough to have scored tickets before they sold out, enjoy hearing the songs from Mo Lowda & the Humble live on Friday night at the Charleston Pour House before flipturn.
Whether or not you make it to the show, you can stream the album below.