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Music Find your place with musical duo Lowertown

Feb. 8, 2021
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Find Your Place is a series of conversations and photographs with artists in their homes, captured online. It examines the current intersection of the physical and digital, sharing perspectives across different cities. Each discussion explores the theme of identity, creativity, and how we find our sense of self.

Avsha Weinberg and Olivia Osby met in math class. While bonding over their music taste, a friendship was formed—resulting in their band, Lowertown. Listening to their songs you feel invited into their orb, a space filled with understated, impactful lyrics and an absorbing sound. Recently signed with the label Dirty Hit, they are quickly expanding, carving out a path for themselves as rising stars. Their latest release, the EP Honeycomb, Bedbug, is a moving collection of songs; at different times, it feels like a diary entry, a conversation, or a secret you’re being let in on, nestling into headphones to feel at home and transported at the same time. 

Having recently relocated from Atlanta to London, I called them to discuss how they first met, what music has meant to them, and coming of age.

Adolescent Content: How did you first meet and start creating music?

Avsha Weinberg: We were in math class together. For the first half of the year, we didn’t sit together but we gradually got closer as we learned more about our music tastes. I was in a band in Atlanta at the time and Olivia [hadn’t really been] introduced to the scene yet, so I started taking her to some shows and we bonded, becoming really close friends. We took a trip to Canada, where I showed her some of my demos, and then we went back to Atlanta and started writing stuff together.

Adolescent: What inspired you both to first get into music individually?

Olivia Osby: I first started getting into music and the culture around some of the genres I was listening to around thirteen, when I started getting into emo music. I thought those people were the coolest people in the world. They were really important to me. 

I’ve also always written poetry and I’m someone who likes to write down my feelings. I’ve found that music is a healthy place to explore things that I’ve been struggling with, or to take myself out of my emotions and see my situation from an objective point of view. I started writing and putting out music at around 14. I didn’t expect anything to come from it—it was just something that I really enjoyed doing. I got traction from there and that’s how I started.

Avsha: I started playing classical piano when I was young. My parents kind of made me do it and I weaved in and out of it, stopping and then picking it back up of my own accord. I started listening to classical and then electronic music, because my dad was really into it [as well as] traditional Israeli music. My dad works in music, so I was shown a lot when I was younger. I was thinking of doing conservatory classical piano, but I realized it wasn’t for me as it was very intense. I wanted to still love music after. I ended up shifting to teaching myself guitar, drums, and bass and learning how to record. 

Adolescent: You have a strong visual aesthetic which I can see is an important aspect of your music. What inspires you in terms of visuals?

Olivia: I was really into fine arts throughout my life. Up until my senior year of high school, I thought I would go to art school, so I’ve always been into painting and drawing. 

Whenever we put anything out visually, we really want it to add to the experience of the music. For our recent visualizer for “Tourist Trap,” I drew all the animations. We’re dropping a zine soon—I compiled some poetry that Avsha and I wrote and drew the pictures. We want to share a piece of us. 

Avsha: We’re trying to not take ourselves too seriously and make something that’s really weird and fun to look at. There’s a lot of musical stuff that inspired us, too—the creation of an artist’s image was really influential to me. We’ve taken inspiration from artists who distinguish themselves using visuals. That’s how you build your view of them—you follow the story of the band and the music they’ve created. That’s a big inspiration to us.

Adolescent: You’ve graduated and moved during a weird, surreal time. How have you found that transition creatively and personally?

Olivia: It’s been pretty crazy. We went straight from quarantining in Atlanta to landing here. We’ve never really lived on our own, so it’s been wild. We’ve really enjoyed the freedom. 

Avsha: I think one of the weirdest parts for me is being taken seriously by adults. We went from high school and having a teacher to now, [where] what we say actually matters. Our producers really listen to us and respect us.

Adolescent: Your new EP is beautiful—what inspired the lyrics?

Avsha: This EP was about the changes we’re going through and the changes in our relationships. The realizations that come about [between] the ages of sixteen and twenty, when you’re having all these new responsibilities. 

Olivia: We wrote the first EP when we were sixteen and seventeen, and this one we wrote when we were seventeen and eighteen. That may not seem like a big difference, but you go through a lot. Once you turn eighteen, you have more responsibilities, and you’re thinking more about your future and the state of the world. Half of that EP was written after coronavirus hit. A lot was going on and it was affecting my close relationships. 

Avsha: Those changes were definitely perpetuated by quarantine and seeing the same people every day.

Olivia: Some of our outside relationships [were] drifting and collapsing. People react differently to this time and sometimes you just can’t talk to certain people anymore. It felt really isolating, and a lot of it was about dealing with those changes and being alone. 

Adolescent: Your lyrics really capture that. Did you write “Tourist Trap” during quarantine?

Olivia: That was actually written before. It was about my experience of going to school and coming home every day and being worried that that routine was going to extend past high school. I was feeling really cyclical with my life. It felt like all I did was wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, go to sleep, and do the same thing over again. I felt like that was going to happen once I went to college and when I wanted to work. Coronavirus hit and I felt it even harder, so it [became] relatable in general to everyone’s experiences.

This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.

You can follow Lowertown on Instagram.