Australia’s super-group Lower Plenty consists of Al Montfort (Dick Diver), Sarah Heyward, Jensen Tjhung (Deaf Wish), and Daniel Twomey (Deaf Wish). Their new album Sister, Sister is a lackadaisical experimental lo-fi dreamboat of a jam-session. It takes one on a low fidelity trip, each song comprising of its own aura giving this album its complex ambience of being thrown together, but thrown into a most aesthetically pleasing pile. It is like digging through a treasure box filled with lost gems of tape hiss and dusty vinyl.
“Bondi’s Dead” feels like crooning through a classic lo-fi pop track. It’s a dreamy nasal lullaby, the guitar has just the right amount of fuzz backed up with a steady treble-heavy acoustic, a tambourine, sweet-tempered snares, and it is all just ever-so-slightly out of time. Perfect.
“Ravesh” is a kaleidoscopic lo-fi beauty with layers to get lost in. Heyward serenades this one with a traditional psychedelic vocal style. It progressively grows more intense, going further down the rabbit-hole filled with tribal-style drum beats, a saxophone stumbling about, a guitar jumping around notes, all eventually disintegrating into a noisy cacophony leaving the listener entranced with a boggy brain and dilated-pupils.
For the full experience, an indie lo-fi album must have its sloppy, slow, and sappy song – “Cursed by Numbers” fulfills this criteria. Two layers of vocals: one clean and on the ground, the other through an old intercom that floats, and both out of time with one another. The messy instrumentation grabs onto that sound of giving up, but the nonsensical lyrics give it the lack of seriousness necessary to maintain a carefree style.
In Sister, Sister each track sounds different, and this causes it to sound like a bootleg of various artists playing in a small room. It may have a variety of sound, but it keeps a casual feel throughout. It has its moments of being basic lo-fi folk-pop, to being remarkably similar to Velvet Underground & Nico or early Cat Power, to a psychedelic oddity, and even early Woods tracks (The Woods: How To Survive In/In the Woods). This Australian super-group of sorts captures the raw lo-fi musical experience that has been abandoned by most, and revamps it in a laid-back fashion.