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Thread: Low - The Invisible Way

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Low - The Invisible Way

    online listen
    now that'll put you to sleep
    must be that north country
    four border lines
    1.2 from me and a converted 2.4 from allmusic

    website -

    from the album - Plastic Cup

    released Mar 19th, 2013

    Bio - from allmusic

    Formed in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1993, Low were perhaps the slowest of the so-called "slowcore"
    bands -- delicate, austere, and hypnotic, the trio's music rarely rose above a whisper,
    divining its dramatic tension in the unsettling open spaces created by the absence of sound.
    Initially comprised of the husband-and-wife team of guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk and
    drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker along with bassist John Nichols, Low began as an experimental
    reaction to the predominance of grunge. Shimmy Disc producer Kramer soon invited the group to
    record at his Noise N.J. studios, and the resulting demos earned them a deal with the Vernon
    Yard label.

    After reentering the studio with Kramer, Low emerged with their 1994 debut, I Could Live in
    Hope, a beautiful set spotlighting the trio's hauntingly minimal aesthetic -- even Parker's
    drum set consisted of only a snare and a hi-hat. Nichols exited the group prior to 1995's
    lovely Long Division, recorded with new bassist Zak Sally. A subsequent appearance on the Joy
    Division tribute A Means to an End was later expanded into the following year's Transmission
    EP, a five-track set also featuring a rendition of Supreme Dicks' "Jack Smith." With new
    producer Steve Fisk behind the boards, Low returned later in 1996 with The Curtain Hits the
    Cast. The Songs for a Dead Pilot EP followed in 1997 and marked Low's debut with their new
    label, Kranky, for whom they also released the critically acclaimed Secret Name in 1999. The
    late '90s also saw them issue Owl (Low Remixes) and the Christmas mini-album, which featured a
    cover of "Little Drummer Boy" that became a minor hit when it was featured in The Gap's holiday
    season commercials in 2000.

    The band's brilliant Things We Lost in the Fire arrived on Kranky in 2001, with the darker,
    more subdued Trust coming the following year. Two years later, the B-sides/rare tracks
    collection A Lifetime of Temporary Relief appeared on Low's own Chairkickers Music imprint. For
    their seventh full-length album, 2005's The Great Destroyer, Low moved to Sub Pop, where they
    remained for 2007's politically charged Drums and Guns and 2011's C'mon, the latter of which
    marked the debut of bassist Steve Garrington. In 2013, Low's 20th anniversary year, the group
    released The Invisible Way, which featured production from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy.

    Album Review - from allmusic

    An institution of slowcore, one of indie rock's more bittersweet subsets, Low began making huge
    and haunted sounds out of the most minimal means in the early '90s. The Invisible Way finds the
    trio 20 years into its craft and returning to parts of its roots while at the same time
    branching into new sounds. The most noticeable shifts in the band's sound come with the
    production of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, working with the band for the first time here. While much of
    Low's work clung to a formula of reverb and echo that their earliest records took to extremes,
    the 11 songs here are roomy but not obscured by cavernous sounds. Instead, tracks like "Holy
    Ghost" and "Amethyst" glow with an earthy sheen, finding their spaciousness more in subtle
    touches of acoustic instruments and perfectly placed accents of guitar than post-production
    techniques. The songwriting here harks back somewhat to the understated pastoral majesty of
    early Low records like Long Division and The Curtain Hits the Cast, with the band creating
    mysterious and lush beauty by slowing down and lingering over long, thoughtful chord changes
    and glimmering harmonies. Following more aggressive sidesteps in the band's discography like
    2005's The Great Destroyer and 2007's bleak and cacophonous Drums and Guns, the return to
    basics is refreshing, and the even more naked production is a perfect complement to the songs.
    Drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker sings lead on an unprecedented five songs on this album. Her
    layered harmonies, pristine but never brittle, make songs like "So Blue" and "Four Score" stand
    out, at once familiar to Low's melancholic grandeur but with a new confidence not heard before.
    Parker's sure-footed vocals anchor the Yo La Tengo-channeling upbeat push of standout track
    "Just Make It Stop," delivering desperate lines over hopeful melodic chord shifts.
    Guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk continues his part of the band's evolution as well, offering
    quizzical and sometimes meandering lyrics for tracks like "Plastic Cup" and "Clarence White,"
    both of which are epic in contrast to the single-line couplets that defined earlier Low albums.
    With its brilliant production values and carefully curated arrangements, The Invisible Way
    shows a band decades into making music but still in a very real state of evolution. While not
    quite a career-definitive statement, much like the aforementioned Yo La Tengo, Wilco, Belle &
    Sebastian, or any of the early-'90s bands still exploring their sound, Low give us a definitive
    chapter for where they are presently, and present it with more clarity and joy than we've heard
    from them in some time.

    Track Listing

    1. Plastic Cup
    2. Amethyst
    3. So Blue
    4. Holy Ghost
    5. Waiting
    6. Clarence White
    7. Four Score
    8. Just Make It Stop
    9. Mother
    10. On My Own
    11. To Our Knees
    A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
    Will Rogers

  2. #2


    i like the vocals on the link also the music, just dont like the melody of the vocals...its the same thing all the way variation whatsoever!, had it had a decent sounding chorus or Middle8 to spice it up a bit i might have said "this is great" but alas im with you on this one MH.

  3. #3
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States


    the clip was one of the more upbeat tunes
    you nailed it though, there is no variation in the vocals
    it became a droning sound
    needed more music for me
    A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
    Will Rogers

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