The band Lowland Hum created The Father for Spark and Echo Arts in response to the theme of "poverty" and 1 John 1:5, 2:4-11.
by Lowland Hum
1 John 1:5, 2:4, 2:9-11
Jackie came home
He doesn’t look us in the eyes
He said he needs a pillow, and only for a while.
Says luck is hard to find these days
Especially when you got a bad name
He’s covering his face
And hiding his darkness in the barn.
How can I say
That I know the Father
When I hate my brother
For things he doesn’t do
Gloria counting down the years
The world has gone and left her
While she’s cleaning up the dinner
Wonders what her life could be
Inherited the homestead
She hates it but she won’t change a thing
so there’re smiles on the faces of all of her siblings
and her nieces and nephews will run where she ran
They’ll all blow in like Christmas and then leave the house empty
How can I say
That I know the Father
When I hate my sister
For what she doesn’t have
Our Father is light
No shadows at all
Written and recorded
Artist curated by
1 John 1:5
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 2:4–11
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
“The Father” was written on a day off during our first cross country tour. As we read through the scripture in 1 John, a few ideas struck and inspired us. The passage dramatically draws attention to the disparity between our identity as children of God and the way we treat one another. The subject that we were assigned by Spark and Echo was “poverty” and as we read the scripture we recognized our own poverty in a profound way. How can you say you love the father if you hate your brother who is made in His image? It is so easy for us to take a self-protective stance, putting others down, even if its just in our minds, to escape our own darkness and inadequacy. The story of this song is written in hopes of drawing attention to the lack inherent in our love for one another, especially in our families. At the end of the song, we hope to refocus on the freeing and glorious character of God, our only way toward wholeness. In the contrary way of Jesus, we aim to tear our eyes from our inadequacy and to dwell on His goodness and overabundance. In this act we are on the path toward healing, change and we are given the strength to love. In our poverty, He is rich.
Lowland Hum is wife and husband team Lauren and Daniel Goans. Together they invite their listeners to share in the space of vulnerable intimacy they have formed over years of steady collaboration. In the live setting, the duo offers an immersive experience of thoughtful songcraft interspersed with audience interaction and extemporaneous songs about the day's happenings. Their recordings take listeners on a journey through relatable, imagistic poetry exploring themes of memory, longing, confession and identity, and drawing attention to often unnoticed resonances of the everyday.
Daniel and Lauren are a prolific, two-person creative factory basing their operation in Charlottesville, Virginia. They write, arrange and produce all of their own music, and have honed a cohesive design aesthetic to match the hushed simplicity of their sound.
The duo's beginning starts with Daniel, a songwriter, performer and producer from North Carolina. Daniel and Lauren’s creative worlds first collided one hot, Greensboro summer in 2010 when Daniel asked Lauren to design the album art for a solo record he was working on. Having once heard Lauren singing to herself at a party, he eventually coaxed her into singing some harmonies on that same album. This was Lauren's first experience with recording. Previously, her performance experience consisted of her middle and high school chorus classes, which, in her own words, provided her with a strong connection to melody and harmony in a context that was well-suited to her shy disposition.
Initially, Lauren performed with Daniel, singing harmonies on songs he had written, but within a year or so, the two began cowriting and arranging virtually all of the material together. Lowland Hum formed officially in 2012, a few months after the two were married and their collaboration deepened. In the years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut Native Air (2013), the duo has tirelessly toured the country, spending more time on the road than at home. In 2014 they followed up their debut with Four Sisters, a conceptual EP and video series, and then, in 2015, they released their eponymous sophomore full-length album, garnering a slew of praise, including an NPR First Listen. Lowland Hum has performed in diverse settings all over the country ranging from folk festivals, art museums and theaters to living rooms and gardens. During their time off the road, Daniel produces albums for other bands.
Lauren's background in visual art asserts itself in the duo's collaboration significantly. She has created all of the band's artwork and design as well as several transportable installation pieces that served as additions to the band’s live performances. She is also responsible for an impressive collection of music videos often using found footage from public domain archives. Over the years, Lauren has designed five editions of handmade lyric books that the duo passes out to audiences so they can read along and interact more deeply with the lyrical content of their songs if they so choose.
Lowland Hum's songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. They continue to attract a growing body of listeners around the world. Daniel and Lauren spent the summer of 2016 creating their third full-length album in a friend's attic. The album, Thin, came out on February 10, 2017, and is their "deepest collaboration to date" according to the band. They completed a nationwide headline tour, sharing the stage with the likes of Josh Ritter, Jesca Hoop and Penny and Sparrow along the way. After playing a handful of festivals this summer, the band will embark on a nationwide tour supporting Penny and Sparrow in the fall followed directly by a five week European tour.