Infinite Shuffle

May 27, 2011

70 – Low

Filed under: Duluth Minn., L — assman41 @ 7:11 pm

After weeks of off-and-on warm temperatures and seemingly endless amounts of rain, the weather finally cooperated long enough this week to allow me to ride my bicycle to work.

The afternoon ride was incredibly pleasant, biking along the St. Joseph river while listening to my old standby, Cease To Begin by Band of Horses.

For the late-night ride home, I thought I’d switch things up and try an album I recently obtained, C’mon by Low. It turned out to be a perfect accompaniment to the moonlit and slightly misty trek.

As I rode along the side streets of South Bend, I felt like my life was being soundtracked by the vocal harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

Low – Try To Sleep

I knew I’d heard of Low before, but I never realized how long they’d been around. The trio, based in Duluth, Minn., first formed in 1993 and has churned out nine full-length studio albums — not to mention numerous EPs, singles and compilations.

The group is among the forefathers of the slowcore movement — even though the members of Low hate that label — which is accented by slow, quieter-than-usual indie pop/rock.

When they first arrived on the scene in the early ’90s, they were pretty much the complete opposite of what was big at that time — grungy, fuzzy, distorted, loud rock.

While not a huge commercial presence, Low have found a niche audience and have slowly expanded their sound.

Part of their longevity can be attributed to the simplicity of their music and the cohesiveness of the band members. Sparhawk and Parker, who have been married to each other throughout the band’s tenure, have established a strong foundation, even as the group has gone through several bassists.

C’mon is the third album Low has put out on Sub Pop Records, and it appears to finally be giving the band some well-deserved acclaim.

Low – Nothing But Heart

P.S. … Sorry it took so long for this week’s post to go up. I usually strive to get something up every Sunday morning, but I guess, after 100 official posts, I was bound to get stuck in a bit of a rut. I’ll try to get back on track during the holiday weekend.

P.P.S. … Look for some upcoming posts on Bonnaroo, which I will be attending for the first time this year.

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