Low + Dirty Three, In the Fishtank EP [Konkurrent]
Low are well-practiced in the art of using less to inspire more. Their minimal indie-rock melodies create somber moods with sparse instrumentation. Every chord, staggered drum beat, or note from front woman Mimi Parker's voice hangs in the air with the importance of a slow-motion raindrop falling to a parched earth. The Dirty Three are equally conservative with their skills, creating emotional flurries by simply dragging a bow across a violin, or strumming a note from a guitar, sometimes building the two into a storm of sad beauty.
It was a brilliant mind, then, that schemed to bring Low and the Dirty Three together for In the Fishtank, a natural fusion of Low's woeful elegance and Dirty Three's delicate folk. As Parker croons like a country girl with a broken heart, these somber lullabies stretch like lost rural highways across the post-rock landscape. Although it's a sonically quiet album, it's beautiful in its simplicity, saying so much in so many pregnant spaces. The final track, "Lordy," is definitely the standout, though, sounding like an old gospel gem that builds intensity as the bands jam around the lyrics "Lordy, save my soul/ From sinning/ From myself." Overall, In the Fishtank is an inspired set of material that will make slowcore fans hope these greatly talented bands record together more often.
-- Jennifer Maerz