Electronic trio LOWES first made waves in the pop world back in 2018 when their track Awake At Night set the industry alight.
“We all met locally on the Lancaster scene. Evie was at Lancaster University and we got to know each other through mutual friends,” explains drummer and producer Luke Paget of the group’s origins. “We started writing together in the studio and thought we’d put the song out for a bit of fun – and it just took off on SoundCloud and YouTube and then got industry attention overnight.”
At that point, they had no plans to push forward together and didn’t even have a band name. “But we definitely started taking it a lot more seriously once we started getting emails through,” laughs vocalist Evie Plumb. “It was a trickle; one day there were two or three emails from people in the industry, then the next there was like 50 from everyone under the sun saying, ‘We want to meet you guys and hear your music,’ and it was like, ‘Yeah, so does everybody else!’.”
Since then the band, also starring guitarist and producer Jamie Walker, has gone from strength-to-strength, with recent singles Game of Love and Bloodstream building up to an EP release this summer. Shimmering with eighties-inspired synths, both tracks are bang on trend with what’s happening in the charts right now, but LOWES insist their sound is born of each of the group’s personal influences and not a stab at commercial success.
“It definitely wasn’t calculated,” insists Evie, as Jamie interjects: “If you want to get industry attention, you can try and second guess what the industry wants a bit – but it wasn’t like that for us at all. We wrote a song, which we enjoyed, and put it out with absolutely no ambition that it was gonna get heard. And that probably worked in our favour…”
“We’ve got an electronic background anyway and there are songs from years back in that kind of style, so it felt very natural for us to go into that,” adds Luke, while Jamie notes their sound has “evolved” from their initial sessions, owing to their freedom in experimenting with genres and directions.
“Usually, a band starts and says, ‘We’re gonna play indie music,’ and then everything sounds like Franz Ferdinand in 2002, because that’s the blueprint for what they want to do,” he shares. “We didn’t do that; we wrote a song with no identity of what the project was and the last however many years have been about us finding what we actually are.
“We have so many influences between the three of us and I think we’re now at a point where the fresh stuff that we’re releasing is probably the truest representation of the three of us, musically, together. But it took a while to get there.”
Those influences are broad: Evie is a self-professed “unashamed lover of pop music” with a penchant for Joni Mitchell and Eva Cassidy, while Luke’s into French electronica in the vein of Daft Punk and M83 and Jamie loves “golden oldies from the seventies and eighties” along with film soundtracks.
They may seem worlds apart, but a quick listen to their latest releases, with soaring synths, huge choruses and timeless pop hooks, and it all becomes plainly clear. “It’s quite a conscious decision when we’re writing choruses that we want them to soar into that euphoric sound and feel,” adds Luke of their recent releases, both which feature on the new EP that is “largely in a similar sonic vein with a few curveballs in there as well,” according to Evie.
Its release ties in with the band’s first-ever headline tour of the UK, which launches on June 8 in Manchester, with a total of seven dates that wrap in Glasgow on June 24. “We did a support spot earlier this year with an American band called The Happy Fits and that was really fun because it gave us a taste of what touring was like. A lot of the fans that made it to those shows have messaged to say they’re coming to ours as well, which is really sweet,” she smiles. “The setlist is coming together; we literally write a song a day, so it’s really really hard to choose which ones to put in, but it feels like the best ones rise to the top.”
The opportunity to play live has been a long time coming for the group, who reached new audiences over the past three years with a run of hit collaborations with artists such as CamelPhat, High Contrast, Sigma, Vintage Culture and Solardo, amassing more than 65 million total streams of their music and attracting in excess of 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
“When something’s out there, I try not to look at what it’s doing,” laughs Jamie. “I know that sounds really weird, but it’s not within our control. Obviously, we feel really honoured when we get a good response and people share it – it’s amazing – but to some extent, you can drive yourself a bit crazy if you keep on looking at the streams. I’d rather enjoy the music when we’re writing and performing it and then hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”
Luke adds: “What can be really rewarding is when a friend says, ‘Oh, I heard your song in Starbucks,’ or something like that. Bloodstream was on ‘Match of the Day’ and that was quite rewarding, because it’s more like real life. It’s not just data.”
It’s that kind of “real life” feedback LOWES are looking forward to when they hit the road and finally get to connect with fans face-to-face. “When you’re replying to comments or doing things on Instagram Live it’s fine, but it’s not what being in a band is about,” smiles Evie. “What’s cool is when you look out at the crowd and people know your lyrics and are singing them back at you. Everyone says the same thing about performing live, but that’s because it’s true. It’s such a magical thing. It’s amazing.”
LOWES will tour the UK from June 9 – tickets are on sale now. The group’s new EP is due this summer.