Low, The Curtain Hits The Cast
Low are a trio from Duluth, Minn., specializing in an even quieter brand of despondency. Its sound is composed of equal parts air and vibe. You don't so much listen to Low's songs as osmotically absorb them. The stately pacing gives much of the material a hymnal quality, and percussionist Mimi Parker's vocals beautifully counterpoint the gnarly mumble of her husband, guitarist Alan Sparhawk.
The Curtain Hits the Cast is Low's third album and continues the slow burn so brilliantly featured on last year's Transmission EP (the title track was an ace cover of the Joy Division classic). "The Plan," with its gorgeous, layered harmonies, has a healing touch. "Over the Ocean" actually shimmers like water, and the humming 14 and a half minute "Do You Know How to Waltz?," with producer Steve Fisk on keyboards, is a spatial high brought to a gentle resolution with the 53-second lullaby "Dark." A fine end to perfect late-night fare.