With their newly released studio album, The Invisible Way, Low is back with their signature slow and low sound.
How slow? How low? Take a listen and you’ll know!
This is, after all, the band who prefers to turn the volume down if they’re playing live and the crowd is too loud. Also the same band who, as a joke with a rowdy crowd in the early days, decided to bring the tempo wayyyyyyy down to see what would happen.
What happened? The band liked the sound! And so it stuck.
For The Invisible Way, with a simple snare/brush drum combo, electric guitar (that sounds acoustic!), and bass, the trio’s sound is reflective and relaxing.
But, is it also an entirely religious album? I’m not the one to answer that, as I’m not up on my scripture, nor on whatever Joseph Smith spoke forward from the golden plates behind Mormonism, but if you listen to the songs and know your God, you may find something extra here. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker are the husband and wife duo leading the band, and are also Mormons, having spent some time in Utah before settling in Duluth.
With their own record label and studio (a deconsecrated church, which helps provide their rich yet mellow sound), Low have their own little indie heaven.
So, how about the music?
The songs are more poetry than most. Simple lyrics. A simple meaning (at least, I think!). And yet they are rich. Meaningful. A song with a mere two dozen words can often say more than most bands would even consider.
‘Plastic Cup’ brings a great humble sound with a simple guitar, a simple drum, a beautiful harmony, and strong lyrics. A little jaunt, I venture, about insignificance and the weight we put on things and moments. From drugs to royalty, but barely more. As if to say, does it matter to the people of the future if you were a peasant or a king?
‘Holy Ghost’, and the next few tracks, switch to Mimi as the lead singer with a tune reflecting on what religion does for her, how it keeps her going, keeps her in touch.
In fact, most of Mimi’s songs, while beautiful, could flow into one another without anyone noticing. Sometimes, that can be a good thing (looking at you, Silversun Pickups), and sometimes not (looking at you, Coldplay).
Alan’s songs tend to try and change up the tempo a bit, occasionally dropping in an electric riff to shock you alive, such as during ‘On My Own’, which invokes a bit of Neil Young cutting loose.
All in, the album is there for a quiet listen. Am I telling you to get the album? I don’t know. Do you like white wine and sweaters and Mormons? It might be up your alley.
Are you in for some beautiful harmonies? Do you like songs that will grasp your imagination if you listen along? Then yes, this album is for you. Do you like some edge with your indie rock? You won’t find it here.
However, I do know that if Low played in the quaint coffee bar down the street from my house, I would be there – without a doubt – as their talent is undeniable.