Indie Veterans Low Capture the Brutally Beautiful Noise of the Now with Double Negative

Friday 08th, March 2019 / 09:00
By Graeme Wiggins

Photo by Shelly Mosman

Where: The Imperial
When: Friday, March 15

Celebrating a 25 year long career and an 11 album discography, indie band Low are no strangers to progression and reinvention. With the release of 2018’s Double Negative they have crafted an album that is equal parts beautiful and brutal, a stark, noisy experimental work that still manages to be both moving and of the moment.

In hindsight, there were hints that they could pull off something like this. Their previous record with the same producer, B.J. Burton, hinted at things to come.

“Ones and Sixes was sprinkled with moments and things that make you go ‘that’s interesting,’ so we were like let’s make the whole record that. It took a while,” singer Alan Sparhawk explains. “ There was a conversation about what could be done with the voices, how could that be broken up. How the voice collides with it. And is there a way we can make rhythm and make movement without it just being drums.”

The album’s dark beauty seemingly connects with our current political climate. There’s an ever present sense of foreboding to the record. While recording the album was begun during the runup to the last American election, the influence was organic rather than purposeful.

“There are definitely some songs that are a reflection of that time,” Sparhawk says. “The way I write, I’m not intentional, but I can look back. I don’t sit around like, I’m going to write about this, or I’m going to write about that. The songs come and you put the puzzle together and if you’re lucky you can take a step back and feel a pattern.”
Low are known for the their live show, which has come a long way from their history of turning things down, confrontationally, to combat loud audiences. Sparhawk credits this to their longevity.

“We were lucky,” he says. “We’re lucky to be able to tour and develop. Work with cool people who have helped to us become who we are. Most bands only get a few years.”