Indie folk duo share idiosyncratic love

By Larisa Karr, Arts & Features Editor
Some husband-wife music duos conjure fairly harmless recollections, like Sonny and Cher, while the names of others, the most obvious being Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, still evoke cringes and questions.
Daniel Levi Goans and Lauren Plank Goans, however, are a new type of musical couple. Hailing from Greensboro, N.C., both Daniel and Lauren are continuing the journey they started three years ago when they married and began touring together as indie-folk duo Lowland Hum.
While on new tour to accompany the album, the band played before a surprisingly seated audience in Asheville on Thursday evening to extend their hellos to one of their favorite venues, The Grey Eagle.
“I’ve played maybe a hundred times in the Southeast and this is definitely in the top five. It’s an incredible space and so many of my heroes have come through here,” Daniel Goans said. “People who are a big reason behind why I even write songs have shared their songs in the same space and we’re adding our songs to that same air.”
Known for their melancholy, pensive and and typically-sparse melodies, the duo were joined on stage by their good friends, bassist Joseph Dickey and drummer Daniel Faust, providing the instrumentation that is characterizing the difference between their previous and recent work.
“The most sparse moments are just as sparse as they were when they were a duo but we just have access to higher highs and bigger crescendos and thicker parts,” Faust said. “I think it will go well.”
With ditties on topics as strange as cell phones, French painters and cicadas, Lowland Hum is perhaps most characterized by the buttery-silk texture of Plank Goans’ riveting voice, which sounds so natural that it seems to be a part of unspoiled fabric of the air around us we are never consciously aware of.
The band is also known for their quirky show effects, such as presenting their audience with lyric books in order to follow along, and as was the case in Asheville, giving out brown envelopes with enclosed packets of vanilla rooibos tea.
What makes the album particularly unique, Daniel Goans said, is that while a majority of the songs on the present album were written on the road when they were just travelling as a duo, working with Dickey and Faust gave the opportunity to be able to record with instruments in a studio.
Their new tour is, according to Lauren Goans, an experiment to determine whether Dickey and Faust will eventually join their band.
“Touring as much as we did laid a really good foundation for our marriage and our performing and collaborating relationships, but it also felt really isolating and it just felt like such a gift to have friends on the road,” Lauren Goans said. “I’m an introvert so I was feeling kind of nervous about having people with us in the car the whole time, but it’s been so fun. I’m energized by it.”

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