Low/Trust


Low are an American Indie band from Duluth, Minn. Formed in 1993, the band currently consists of husband/wife founders Alan Spearhawk and Mimi Parker and Steve Garrington. The Mormon couple have two children and are the founders and spine of the band. Often cited as the leading members of the ‘slow-core’ movement, the band is known for its slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. As of late, the band has emerged with a slightly more abrasive tone. Trust was released in 2002 and was the 6th of 8 studio releases from the band.

Amazing Grace [That’s How We Sing]—-To anyone familiar with this band and the beautiful landscapes of sound they produce, the intro to this song is like a warm blanket that keeps you warm of a frigid night. The sound is heavy and plodding, the guitars are played incredibly slow…making you ache for the vocal. When the voices of the couple enter the fray, you are melted in you seat. The sound is beautiful and mystifying…the blend of the two voices would rival ANY Male/Female duo ever. Wonderful!!!

Canada—-Almost at once you recognize the shift in the sound of the band….the music is faster paced and more layered with sound. The vocal takes you back to the glory days of Neil Young, in fact the resemblance is uncanny. The guitar delivery is like nothing you had heard before on a Low release. It takes some getting used to, but the voice and the vocal harmonies are too much to resist.

Candy Girl—-Bass heavy and full of excruciating slowness, the song begins in classic and familiar fashion. As Alan enters the fray, the words are few and far between…when Mimi joins the fray, it is the perfect recipe for sheer beauty. The bass drum that marches through the song gives you the feel of a funeral march and the gentle strums on the guitar are almost hollow in sound. The song is a masterful example of why this band is loved by so many people.

Time Is The Diamond—-The vocal begins at the onset of the song and it is joined immediately by Mimi in the backdrop. This song is so minimal and bare, you wonder how they keep the tune in their head. As the song progresses, it open up a slight amount, but nothing is included to take away from the mood set at the first word of the song. This is wonderful and classic Low….I haven’t listened to this in quite some time and i am really loving it now.

Tonight—-The song, for Low, begins rather noisy. The first vocals of the song are from Mimi..this is always a treat. She has a tone that melds with the Low sound in a haunting and metallic way. The backdrop of the song is rather layered and noisy, but it all comes together to produce a masterful track.

The Lamb—-The song begins with little bits of guitars, snips of piano and huge amounts of atmosphere. The song takes quite sometime to get started, but the rewards as usual are worth the wait. You first hear strains of the dual vocal attack very far back in the mix….almost to quiet to hear. There are all kinds of things going on in this song…as Alan finally begins to sing, Mimi provides a quiet and powerful background vocal to match. This is true musical beauty.

In The Drugs—-Featuring an odd acoustic upfront guitar, the vocal is just pure and sweet. At times, Alan has a peculiar voice…when it is slow and natural like this it is beautiful. As Mimi joins in, the two come together like a true union. The chorus of the song has a bit of a melody that sucks you in and you have to play it again. This is perfect! There is even some banjo!!!! Incredible.

Last Snowstorm—-Sounding like winter, the song features a nice sleigh bell in the backdrop and an almost Christmas theme. The voices come together like nothing you can adequately describe. This song is noisier and has a huge sound…to me rather religious based, but a masterpiece in the form it is presented. This is pure magic…gosh I love these guys !!!!

John Prine—-John Prine is a well known Country guitarist. This song reminds me nothing of him…..the intro of the song is familiar and predictable Low…exactly what I require at this moment. The vocal enters and is slightly pushed to the back of the mix and with a slight reverb. The lyrical content is a personal ode to the genius of Prine, but the song as a whole stands on its own. This is classic Low…don’t skip it.

Little Argument—-The song begins with an immediate lyric. It features Alan singing at his higher range with Mimi providing a deeper and quiet backdrop. The guitar can barely be heard as the song continues. The voices have the spotlight. The song grows slightly in noise as it progresses, the layers of sound come from the dark and almost explode with a crash. This is exquisite!!!

La La Song—-Brilliant…..a tender delivery that is immediate and instantly memorable. These two rarely do wrong in my book. This is a great gentle ode that would stack up against the best that any duo could muster. The hand claps add a touch to the song and the melody is unforgettable. This is as I said….brilliant!!!

 Point Of Disgust—-Sounding as if the song was recorded on a toy piano in a bathroom, the song begins with a slightly irritating piano that slows and slows and ushers in a vocal that is unrecognizable Mimi. I do not think I have ever heard her sing in such a high voice. I much prefer the lower register. The song…rough at the onset, turns into a brilliant and melodic affair that sucks you in….as the song reverts to the more obscure sound, you find yourself enduring it to get to the melodic chorus. Nice!!!

Shots & Ladders—-Heavily layered with sound, even the vocals seem to be so. The slight reverb on the vocal makes the delivery of the two seem even larger and more upfront. The song moves with an incredible slowness that keeps you hanging on every word and every sound. This is a great finish to an outstanding release.

****1/2 out of 5

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