Alternative/rock duo Lowertown discuss latest EP, tour life at SXSW

Kaiya Little, Life & Arts Reporter

Atlanta-based duo Lowertown made their first-ever stop at SXSW this week while traveling the country opening for Wet Leg, a British band currently on a North American tour. Lowertown consists of 20-year-old bandmates Olivia Osby and Avshalom (Avsha) Weinberg. The two recently released their second EP entitled The Gaping Mouth.

At the tail end of their performances for the week, the Texan met with Osby and Weinberg to reflect on their latest project, friendship, and growing popularity.

The Daily Texan: What are your thoughts about your latest release The Gaping Mouth and what went into creating it?

Olivia Osby: It was written at a really confusing point in both of our lives — we graduated high school right at the beginning of COVID. …That sucked. Then, we signed a record deal right at the end of high school. We started writing The Gaping Mouth right after we graduated, and that was very existential because we were like, “Okay, we’re not going to college right now, we’re doing music, but the world feels like it’s ended.”

(The start of the pandemic) was a ton of time alone, and we’re both very, neurotic and depressive-leaning people, so that was very difficult. … We wrote all (of the songs) and went to London to record, … (but) everything was shut down and we didn’t know anyone. It was very isolating. (The album is about) grappling with the world around us and coming into adulthood at the time.

Avsha Weinberg: We actually wrote a fair share of the songs in London and that was a big moment for us because it was us taking the next step in music, and then we got there and everything was broken. Nothing was happening like how we thought it would, and we were stuck inside most of the time. (The album) was a snapshot of our expectations being sliced in half and how we felt about that.

Kara Hawley/The Daily Texan

DT: What is your dynamic like and how does it translate into your music?

AW: We haven’t always been best friends, but for the last four years, I’d say we’ve been best friends, and I don’t think we could record or write stuff if we weren’t. … It’s like two buddies hanging out in the basement — we literally write in my basement.

OO: It’s funny because we’re very similar, but we’re also very different from each other. He’s a big pessimist, and I’m a big optimist, and we’re balancing in terms of that. I’m very extroverted, and he’s very introverted. A lot of those qualities shine through in how we progress our career and music.

DT: What runs through your mind before or during a performance?

AW: (The feelings have) evolved so much within the last two weeks because this was our first tour. Before, we’d have one show every couple months and we’d be like, “Oh my God, that’s the biggest deal in the world.” And now we have a show almost every day.

OO: It depends on the venue and the crowd’s energy. … If we play in a big theatrical venue with a lot of seats, It’s very off-putting because I’m used to rock venues.

DT: If you had to come up with a title for a playlist featuring your songs, what would it be?

OO: “Winter time.”

AW: “Tall and gigantic.”

OO: “Alone in my apartment.” I feel like our music is very lonely sometimes.

AW: “Big monkey man.”

DT: That captures it, and so does “big monkey man” — I can feel it. What do you want to show people through your music?

AW: I want to impress on people that we are not the most serious people on Earth — we just want to have fun, and people (can) have fun with us or be sad with us. … It’s very emotion-based music.

OO: Everything we’re doing is (us) trying something new. I want people to hopefully get a unique feeling or a unique sound from us, I don’t want us to be very comparable to anything else out there.