Löwin Floats

Summer single “Sloop” redefines Austin quartet

Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick

From out of the blue arrives Löwin’s new single, a sharply written track buoyed by shimmering guitar interplay, breezy melodies, and a demanding refrain: “Do you know what you’ve got? Because I know what I’m not.”

The Austinites’ guitarist/vocalist Sara Houser sings:

“My heart it breaks
Each and every day
And I know that maybe that’s what it takes
They listen when you feel low”

Easy to infer a message of romance, dependence, and a need to be understood, right?

“I’ve written more relationship-style songs about falling in and out of love with playing music than I have about actual relationships that I’m in,” reveals Houser.

Indeed, “Sloop” draws from the trials of the creative process and crises of faith all artists weather. At the time she wrote the song, Houser daydreamed of a different life – one blissfully free of musical self-doubt.

“I’d gotten slightly frustrated with, not necessarily the direction Löwin was going, but I felt like our first EP had asserted us as this loud, butt-rock band, which was not my intention,” she laughs. “Outside of that, the energy of being the primary songwriter in a band had left me exhausted last year. I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer. Even though I’d worked so hard to get Löwin off the ground, a big part of me wanted to abandon it, run away, and live on the beach in a sailboat for the rest of my life.

“That’s why it’s called ‘Sloop.’”

Ironically, said artistic uncertainty inspired one of the strongest tracks Löwin’s issued up to this point. That, in turn, led to Houser’s realization that songwriter is actually the role she’s most comfortable in, confident and fulfilled.

Last fall, the local quartet – including famously wounded lead guitarist Michael Sanders – entered the studio with producer/arranger Carey McGraw (of the band Modern Medicine) and cut a couple singles, later mastered by local Grammy winner Stuart Sikes. Both resulted in a refined, tighter, and less heavy-handed indie rock sound than heard on Löwin’s sole 2016 offering “Say Say” or the previous year's Royal Jelly EP. Consider it a glimpse of things to come.

“I think the pop aesthetic in ‘Sloop’ is going to carry over with this next record, too,” confirms Houser.

Friday, Löwin appears at Cheer Up Charlies for the Volume 4, Issue 4 release of local artsy skin-mag Peach Fuzz alongside fellow “Playback” favorites Magic Rockers of Texas, Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, and Rotten Mangos.

Here’s “Sloop,” set sail:

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Löwin, Sara Houser, Michael Sanders, Carey McGraw, Stuart Sikes, Sloop, Peach Fuzz, Magic Rockers of Texas, Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, Rotten Mangos

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