Making beautifully haunting, terrifyingly soulful music, Lichens is Rob Lowe (ex-90 Day Men) singing out in wordless vocal loops. This specter-like sound is given a jumbled skeleton in the form of broken, primitive acoustic guitar work and throbbing synths. While his recordings have been celebrated for their immensely listenable, engaging, and challenging qualities, his live performances share the absolute best of his practice—crashing maelstroms of sound built out of the flawed clarity of the human voice.
Sahra Motalebi’s grand, light-footed songs draw equally upon the sacred elevations of Middle Eastern and African music and the drama and persistence of visionary pop music like Kate Bush and Roxy Music. Her subtly complex arrangements, built from airy percussion and jagged scraps of guitar, provide an ideal landscape for her voice to soar and somersault, with a transfixing power and expressiveness. Matthew Schnipper summarized this dominance and hypnotism of her music in the FADER: “In song she is murky, creepily inviting and frightening, both fearmonger and soothsayer.”