Cooper Lower’s New Single ‘The Bar’ is a Poetic Elixir for Modern Masculinity

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Cooper Lower’s New Single ‘The Bar’ is a Poetic Elixir for Modern Masculinity

Words by Talia Rinaldo

‘The Bar’ is a soul-stirring ballad that delves deep into the complexities of masculinity and mental health.

Few artists capture the essence of raw emotion and introspection quite like Cooper Lower.

With a soul-stirring new single, ‘The Bar’, backed by his magnetic presence and captivating talent, the Warrnambool-raised musician once again proves himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary folk music scene. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Released on Friday, March 22, this poignant song serves as a meditation on manhood, reflecting Lower’s regional upbringing and the influential figures he encountered along the way. As the world grapples with conversations surrounding mental health and masculinity, Lower’s contribution to the discourse comes in the form of heartfelt lyrics, poignant vocals, and a stripped-back acoustic arrangement.

At the core of ‘The Bar’, lies Lower’s introspective lyricism, which navigates themes of strength, vulnerability, and the emotional toll of societal expectations. Lines like “Now, who will hold the bar, and who can hold it the longest, even if it tears us apart” and “Boys are cold that’s what they teach, boys are numb and that’s just how they’ll be” linger in the mind, inviting contemplation and reflection.

The bridge section in particular offers a poignant moment of reflection, as Lower breaks the chains of societal norms and expectations. 

“Break the chains of our shackled youth, where we learn that we’re covered by the colour of blue, and that we need to find a lover who’s a mother to you, the men who smother the truth, maybe a brother to you, maybe another recluse, just may discover a new strength to fall.” 

These lyrics serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of breaking free from outdated notions of masculinity and embracing vulnerability and authenticity.

“As a boy, I was taught to be strong and brave, and as I grow older, I now see the strongest and bravest men in my life are not just strong and brave. They are also kind, vulnerable, patient, forgiving people,” Lower says of the meaning behind his newest single.

“I hope that this song can serve as a catalyst for many more conversations about what we can help teach our young men to value most. I hope we can also have conversations about some of the things we need to educate our young men to be sensitive of, and to reassure them that there are some parts of our intrinsic masculine nature that are to be celebrated.” 

While the lyrics are hypnotising, musically ‘The Bar’ captivates with its simplicity and sincerity. Lower’s stripped-back acoustic guitar serves as the backbone of the song, creating a contemplative atmosphere that allows his expressive vocals to take centre stage. Accompanied by subtle instrumentation that enhances the emotional resonance of the composition, Lower’s raw, tender delivery draws listeners into a world of profound emotion and introspection. 


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A post shared by Cooper Lower (@cooperlowermusic)

A standout feature of ‘The Bar’ comes from Lower’s collaboration with US-based abstract artist Sarah Kraning, whose synesthetic interpretation of the song manifests in the single cover. This visual representation adds an extra layer of depth to Lower’s already evocative storytelling, offering listeners a multi-sensory experience that resonates long after the song has ended.

Since first witnessing Lower’s musical prowess on a local stage in Warrnambool back in 2018, it was clear that Lower possessed a rare gift for connecting with his audience on a profound level.

The last few years have seen Lower’s journey as a musician take him across continents, from the streets of London to major festival stages around the world. Garnering acclaim for his poignant lyrics, soulful vocals, intricate guitar work and soaring melodies, he has established himself as one of Australia’s most captivating young songwriters. 


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A post shared by Cooper Lower (@cooperlowermusic)

With ‘The Bar’ and his upcoming project, Conversations, recorded alongside renowned Polish composer and producer Kris Gorski, Lower is poised to cement further his status as a musical force to be reckoned with.

In an era where conversations surrounding masculinity and mental health are more important than ever, Lower’s contribution to the discourse is both timely and impactful, reminding us of the power of music to provoke thought and inspire change.

Listen to ‘The Bar’ here and keep up with the latest from Cooper Lower here.