Written Before Listen
Low is a band hailing from Minnesota. I’ve yet to listen to their music but I know the prominence in the genre of Slowcore. Here I am, with my review page now listening to their music for the first time. Let’s see what this new album is all about.
Throughout the 46 minutes of run time, the production choices go from utterly disturbing to utterly beautiful. Tracks like “Disappearing” and “Hey” come closer to ambient music but tracks like “More” and “There’s A Comma After Still” are noisy and surreal in a similar way a David Lynch movie is. There are also tracks like “I Can Wait” and “Days Like These'' where it’s kind of like a mixture of the two. BJ Burton (the producer) made sure that this album would have an impact on its sound. Looking at his production credits, it made sense that he helped produce the new Charli XCX record that came out last year.
Low seems to be willing to try out multiple styles with one song. The opening track itself is a mixture of rock, industrial, electronic and pop as its accessible chord progression meshes with the industrial instrumentation. Similar thing with “Hey” as its mixture of experimental, ambient, and pop is also effortless. Honestly, this album isn’t blended into one genre. I guess rock and pop will be the obvious ones but there is a lot of industrial music, experimental music, electronic music alongside a lot of avant-garde ideas.
Speaking of instrumentation, there is a nice abundance of instruments here. There is a lot of industrial music and noisy electronics on this album but with tracks like “All Night”, “Days Like These” and “More”, guitars are added alongside. I will also add that there are rarely any drums at all on this record. Except for the last track, the drums are not part of the palette which makes the songs spacier and more atmospheric.
Not only this album is the contrast between meditative pop and a noise fest, but lyrically this album digs into topics such as spirituality, religion, and love. There is also a good amount of symbolism in this album too as songs like “White Horses”, “Disappearing” and “Hey” do a great job of that. With songs like “I Can Wait” and “Days Like These”, you’re awaiting a consequence, and at the tail end of the album, you find out the consequence is all in your head and you have given more than what your punishment is is originally was.
The first thing that comes to mind is that some of the songs come off as too minimal. I will also say that one issue I have is a very similar issue I had with the Lingua Ignota record. I don’t think I can listen to these tracks individually to get the same effect, That’s It though. HEY WHAT is a great blend of noisiness, darkness, meditation, and beauty that is quite enchanting.
Well, I’m glad I finally introduced myself to this band. I don’t know if this is completely different from their Slowcore stuff but I feel like I would enjoy that stuff as well. This album on the other hand is nuts. The accessibility factor with this noisy and abrasive record is really impressive.