How rare is it that you fall in love with a musical discovery and it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship — not just with the music, but with the musicians?

In April of 2018, during an annual meeting of the Chrysostom Society at Laity Lodge (a retreat center at the edge of the Frio River near Kerville in Texas), I had yet another amazing musical encounter thanks to some brilliant networking by my friend Steven Purcell, the Lodge’s events director.

Lowland Hum at Laity Lodge in April 2018.

Lowland Hum — the married singer/songwriter duo of Daniel and Lauren Goans — performed a set of stunning poetry, profundity, and humor. They played songs from across their first several albums, told stories about how they met and began making music together, and won a new community of fans and friends.

I remember quickly bonding with them over favorite albums — including the delightful discovery that we all prefer Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints to his far more popular Graceland. 

Kindred spirits — (l-r) myself (a happy fanboy), Lauren and Daniel Goans, Steven Purcell — at Laity Lodge, April 2018.

And then, a year later, they released what I’d argue is their strongest album yet: Glyphonic. I included it on my list of favorite records of 2019. (Here’s my favorite track from that record: “Slow.”)

During the pandemic lockdown of 2020–21, Lauren and Daniel stayed very busy “delivering” two new releases: their first child, and a record that already means a lot to me.

My very first CD, way back in 1986, was Peter Gabriel’s classic art-pop masterpiece So, and this year marks its 35th anniversary. So — of course — I was overjoyed when Lauren and Daniel sent me a little secret: They were reimagining that entire album, track by track, to celebrate that landmark.

They call their hushed, haunting recreation So Low. And I love it.

I love it so much, in fact, that I sent four or five videos via text in which I tried to express some of the ways in which the album was amazing and blessing me and Anne. That led to a conversation over Zoom where we talked about the project for almost two hours.

You can listen to most of that conversation in this 82-minute “Master Shot” episode, my first Looking Closer podcast episode in several months.

Here, we talk about Lauren and Daniel met and how the band came to be. And then we take a deep dive into appreciating the marvels of that astonishing, mysterious Peter Gabriel classic… examining it track by track.

There’s even a moment that in the conversation where I surprise them by holding up the very first CD I played on my very first CD player — and on the podcast, well, you don’t get to see what I’m sharing with them:

“My very first CD.”

I hope you enjoy our conversation. More than that, I hope you enjoy Lowland Hum’s amazing catalog of music, particularly this remarkable release.