PREMIERE: RG Lowe’s “Sorrow” Is About Cultural Seduction and Vapidity

Balmorhea co-founder Rob Lowe’s sophomore album Life of the Body is out May 22 via Western Vinyl.

Peer pressure’s a funny thing—you could be one of the brains behind one of the most influential modern classical acts of our time one day, and, after chatting with a friend, find yourself two records deep in a solo career as a soulful pop singer. This is the trajectory Austinite Rob Lowe’s career has taken, as the Balmorhea multi-instrumentalist has shared news of the follow-up to his 2017 solo debut under the name RG Lowe, Slow Time.

Life of the Body, which will see a release at the end of May, continues Lowe’s journey into more pop-oriented ambient music, experimenting with a Wurlitzer on “Sorrow,” the track we’re premiering today. “This song was constructed almost entirely around the Wurlitzer line you hear repeated throughout the track,” he shares. “There is this thing that happens to me where I get a little formation in my hands for the piano or the Wurlitzer and every time I sit down my hands, like magnets, go right to it. I worked on the idea with my band for many dozens of hours to find the right groove and trajectory, but the word ‘sorrow’ came right at the beginning of the process, fell out of my mouth.”

Of the song’s subject matter—and the record more broadly—he continues: “If I had to summarize, I would say that it is a song about malaise, ennui, and helplessness. I use the myth of Icarus as a frame to pin up these different feelings about seduction and want and vapidity in our culture and how even what is bad can feel very good. If one of the main themes of the album is connection with the life-world and the freedom of physicality, then this song sets the stage by establishing a fundamental problem and expressing a feeling I spend the rest of the album working my way out from.”

Stream the record’s opener below. Life of the Body is out May 22 via Western Vinyl—pre-order it here.

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