Low, Trust [Kranky / Inertia]
We Liked It And You Will Too...
few bands for whom a forthcoming release can be confidently nominated as
'Album of the Year' without having actually heard it. However, Low
is one such band. Formed in the early nineties this three piece from
Duluth, Minnesota don't simply create songs, they create atmospheres
that swallow you entirely and comfort you to sleep: lullabies for
With every successive release Low somehow manage to improve on their heavenly
slow-core formula of creating dark, minimalist music accompanied by
fragile harmonies and lyrics that make you jealous that you hadn't
thought of them first (for example: "There's nothing as sad as a
man on his back counting stars" from Little Argument With Myself).
With 'Trust', the band's sixth long player, there are many such
highlights, including the uplifting and beautiful Snowstorm, with
it's sleigh-like bells and drums that pound like heartbeats and the
striking Point Of Disgust, which sees percussionist Mimi Parker
shine on lead vocals.
Low make music full of voids, seconds of silence or reverb, in which the listener
is given the opportunity to absorb both the music and lyrics and bathe
in its purity, and yet Zac Sally's bass and Parker's percussion
drives the band into deeper abysses. From the opening track, (That's
How You Sing) Amazing Grace, it is evident that Low have sought to
find new ways of bringing the intimacy of their live shows into your
living room, as the vocals (like those on John Prine) capture the
innocence and intensity of their live format. This can largely be
credited to the fact that the band stepped out of the normal studio set
up and created one in a church for the album's recording.
'Trust' also sees Low treading into new territory as they brought in well known
mixer Tchad Blake (a man responsible for recording and mixing albums
ranging from American Music Club's magnificent 'Mercury' to Spinal
Tap's infamous 'Break Like The Wind'). Blake can be held
responsible for the many little samples that appear on various tracks,
such as the obscure horn-like noises midway through Snowstorm or
the bells and whistles on ...Amazing Grace.
The only minor flaw with 'Trust' is that I'd prefer it to be one track
fewer: Candy Girl interrupts the flow of the album and would be
better appreciated as a B-side. But this is nitpicking: stop what you're
doing, purchase 'Trust' then go home, turn off the lights, pour a
glass of red and dissolve into the beautiful sounds of Low.
-- Ross Hocking
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