Hieronymus Bogs: Lowlives Devine - Abstract Folk Rock Worthy of All Ears
>> Hieronymus Bogs recently dropped his latest album, Lowlives Devine, and it’s proving to be broad, abstract and full of sounds resonating with solemn contentment. The record was produced by Rochester’s Sam Snyder of Maybird and Overhand Sam.
The whole album contains vocal content that seems to dance blissfully around the instrumentals. Bogs sings with this carefree flow that doesn’t exactly synch up with supporting tracks, yet never seems to lag or clash with the rest of the mix. Plus, the lyrical content keeps listeners wondering what is going on in the writer’s head.
Secondly, there are surprising moments of perfectly executed chaos sprinkled throughout the album. Folk has the potential to get repetitive and stagnant, but certain moments in the composition of a few songs throw the listener for a pleasing loop. The best instance of this concept is during the album’s first track, Endure, when a piano part suddenly crumbles out from under the otherwise steady mix halfway through the song.
Ultimately, the production is eclectic enough to make each song incredibly standalone, yet the mix is consistent enough to keep the record whole and similar.
The overall production, while it beautifully carries the record, is somewhat of a slight of hand. The music is underlyingly folk, and I can’t shake the feeling that if stripped of its layers (down to Hieronymus and a guitar) many of the tracks would be somewhat boring, repetitive and empty. This idea, however, is best left to live listeners to decide.
The professionalism and thought behind this album’s composition are its most impressive qualities, and should act as lessons to Folk artists everywhere. Its latent simplicity and its vibrant instrumentals proved to be a powerful combination. 4.2/5 <<