“A musical deep breath”: Mo Lowda & the Humble’s Smoldering ‘Lily Pads / Snowbird’ EP

Mo Lowda & The Humble © Caleb Wilson
Mo Lowda & The Humble © Caleb Wilson
Smoldering and emotive, gentle and driving, Mo Lowda & the Humble’s new three-track EP ‘Lily Pads / Snowbird’ is a refreshing breath of indie rock-laden fresh air that soothes the senses and warms the soul.
Stream: “Lily Pads” – Mo Lowda & the Humble

Some music hits hard, rousing us from sweet slumber and calling us to action; some music hits softer, captivating through pure intimacy and raw vulnerability. Philadelphia indie rock band Mo Lowda & the Humble have written plenty of songs in both styles over their ten-year tenure, and now their latest offering is something a blend. Smoldering and emotive, gentle and driving, their new three-track EP Lily Pads / Snowbird is a refreshing breath of fresh air: A ten-minute indulgence of radiant, groovy rock that soothes the senses and warms the soul.

Lily Pads / Snowbird - Mo Lowda & the Humble
Lily Pads / Snowbird – Mo Lowda & the Humble
You’re so tired, five years is enough anymore
You’re a liar, but you don’t know what for
A secret life is waiting for your starring role potential
You’re hired, so act like a movie star
And if I was the one who changed your mind
I’m sorry for the misunderstanding
But I can’t be a lily pad for your jumping heart
If I was the one who changed your
Your mind, your mind
– “Lily Pads,” Mo Lowda & the Humble

Released August 19, 2022 via Workaround Records, Lily Pads / Snowbirds is both hard-hitting and achingly tender all at once: A beautiful, immersive listening experience that concurrently inspires, moves, and calms, showcasing Mo Lowda & the Humble’s collective growth as a unit and their ability to not only write catchy music, but also to create a mood that extends beyond a single song.

The Philadelphia-based band of Jordan Caiola (who’s also been featured here for his self-titled solo project), Shane Woods, and Jeff Lucci, Mo Lowda & The Humble have steadily carved out a sizable space for themselves in the indie rock space over the past decade thanks to their cinematic performances, tasteful nuance and subtlety, and exceptionally soulful sound – a testament, at least in part, to frontman Jordan Caiola’s strengths as a vocalist.

Mo Lowda & The Humble © Lauren Fithian
Mo Lowda & The Humble © Lauren Fithian

This new EP arrives two-plus years after the band’s third LP Ready to Coat, and right on the heels of their first full-length live album, June’s Even on the Weekend, which showcases better than anything the trio’s magnetic stage presence and dynamic in-person energy.

“I think this band has constantly been evolving over the years, and we as individuals have been drawn more and more to different genres outside of straight rock,” Jordan Caiola tells Atwood Magazine. “If you listen to our records in order you can hear it. Also, all three of us have been producing quite a bit of other artists’ projects (mainly Shane Woods and Jeff Lucci), and spending lots of time in the studio continuing to hone our craft. We tried some new moves and production techniques on this EP and had some fun exploring different instrumentation/choices – in particular the bass-synth that carries ‘Lily Pads’ and the driving acoustics that provide the backbone for ‘Snowbird.’ We are always trying to explore new tones and approaches to keep things fresh and exciting.”

“Though ‘Lily Pads’ was written years ago, it was recorded around the same time as ‘Snowbird’ in 2020/‘21,” Caiola says of these new songs, “and the two started to feel more and more like a pair, due to their musical elements and how generally laid back they are. The interlude ‘Rescue Boats’ served as the final piece and in turn, the EP lives as a 9+ minute piece that should be listened to straight through.”

Opening track “Lily Pads” is a smoky, intimate, and brooding affair, with glistening effected guitars swaying like shadows behind Caiola’s emotive singing. “You grew up loving Jesus more than you loved yourself,” he sings heavy heartedly in the second verse, “but it took a little time to realize you could not be helped. Engaged after only two decades of life, how can you really know when the love stops? Wedding bells and fancy hotels were all you got…” Beyond the song’s poignant lyrical content is a bona fide sonic blanket that wraps itself around listeners’ ears: The guitars continue to smolder, burning with an electric light as the drums pump a steady, charged beat.

“I love the whole back half of ‘Lily Pads’ – everything after the first chorus,” Caiola smiles. “We had the first two verses and choruses written for a while unfinished, then we wrote the whole second half during a band retreat to a beautiful lake house in Virginia. I woke up the first morning and sat on the dock and tied up all the loose ends lyrically by writing the final refrain, which is the story’s pinnacle. Instrumentally, I just love how all the layers continue to grow until that final riff section finishes it off.”

But somehow I was the one who changed your mind
I’m sorry for the misunderstanding
But I can’t be a lily pad for your jumping heart
If I was the one who changed your mind
I’m sorry for the misunderstanding
But I can’t be a lily pad
And I’d talk you through the nights
When the light was hard to see
And though I opened your eyes
I could never be what you need
And these lily pads have grown to the size of rescue boats
But I’m too far gone to keep your life afloat

A ninety-second long, reverb-filled instrumental – “Rescue Boats” – serves as the transition from “Lily Pads” into “Snowbird,” a gorgeous outpouring of glistening alternative rock in its own right. A hauntingly beautiful and sweetly driving song, “Snowbird” is an intimate, soft, and soaring triumph of sound and emotion: “As intricate as it is simply stunning, the song showcases the very best of the band’s talents,” we wrote in our track premiere in September of last year. “Sonically, lyrically, and meaningfully expressive, it hits home hard and leaves an instant mark.”

Speaking to Atwood around the time of the track’s initial release, Jordan Caiola explained how “Snowbird” explores themes of seasonal depression, and being fortunate enough to have someone who helps you through it:

My pain gets multiplied
When the cold months seem to close my blinds… my blinds.
But when the ice coated the cars outside
You’d always seem to ease my mind.
You’re my snowbird
In the window sill.
You’re my snowbird
And I’m missing you still.

Together with “Lily Pads” and “Rescue Boats,” “Snowbird” makes for a listen that is not only enjoyable, but also deeply cathartic. As Mo Lowda & the Humble develop an entrancing sonic “vibe,” they also succeed at once again moving listeners’ hearts.

“I hope it brings some moments of calm / a little bit of joy,” Jordan Caiola says of this EP. “A musical deep breath, so-to-speak. I think we all need that right now. Put on some headphones and zone out – forget about the stress of your day for a moment.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Mo Lowda & the Humble’s Lily Pads / Snowbird EP with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their latest release!

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:: stream/purchase Mo Lowda & the Humble here ::
‘Lily Pads / Snowbird’ – Mo Lowda & the Humble

:: Inside Lily Pads / Snowbird ::

Lily Pads / Snowbird - Mo Lowda & the Humble

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Lily Pads

Lily Pads was written almost 4 years ago, but didn’t seem to fit on our last album ‘Ready Coat’ so we shelved it.  The groove was originally inspired by an Erykah Badu song.  I loved the *crack* of the high-tuned snare drum and the way it swung.  The bass-synth line just floated over top and the rest of the layers came quite easily after that.  Lyrically it tells the story of someone looking to rebound after leaving a long relationship that began at a young age.  It was all they knew.  After realizing they were no longer compatible, the song tells of their new journey to explore life on their own again, whilst the narrator admits he can’t provide them with the rebound and stability they are looking for in that moment AKA a ‘I can’t be a lily pad for your jumping heart.’

Rescue Boats

Rescue Boats serves as a smooth and psychedelic interlude between the two singles.  It was originally part of Lily Pads, making the song well over 5 minutes long.  We eventually opted to release them as separate tracks as they felt more and more like individual ideas rather than one long composition.  Jeff Lucci played a major part in crafting the arc of this piece.  It gets its title from a lyric at the end of Lily Pads – “(and) these lily pads have grown to the size of rescue boats, but I’m too far gone to keep your life afloat.”


Snowbird was inspired by the British producer duo Jungle.  They often stack multiple falsetto vocals on one another and create incredibly catchy and very danceable music.  Lyrically the song deals with themes of seasonal depression and having someone by your side to help you through it.

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:: stream/purchase Mo Lowda here ::

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Lily Pads / Snowbird - Mo Lowda & the Humble

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