Low - FakeJazz's review of the k./Low split
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k. / Low, split EP (Tiger Style) - 9/12

This K. and Low split CD single is a collection of four previously unreleased songs, two from each band. The two K. songs were both recorded recently and are a peek into what to expect from K.'s full length album due out soon on Tiger Style.

For those not yet familiar with K., it is the solo project of Karla Schickele (Ida, ex-Beekeeper). Karla has been an important member of Ida for the last few releases and has done her fair share of the song writing. While K. is a "solo" project, and Karla has written all the songs herself, at least on these two songs she is getting a lot of help from her friends in playing the music she has written. The first track, "Regular Girl," has Tara Jane O'Neil (Retsin, Sonora Pine, Rodan), on drums, Cynthia Nelson (Retsin, Ruby Falls, the Naysayer) playing guitar, Miggy (O'Neil's band, the Mad Scene, ex-Ida) on bass, and Karla playing guitar and singing. The song is mellow, beautiful, and thoughtful and is similar to her unique style of songwriting she has shown in Ida.

"Were We to Dance," her second song on the single is a Flashpaper cover. It features the Timid Tequila Orchestra backing her up while she plays piano and sings. The Timid Tequila Orchestra features banjo, bass, violin (played by Ida Pearle (yes, from Ida)), and organ. Unlike "Regular Girl" though, this song separates itself a little more from the Ida sound. The song's melodies are so fragile, hanging in the air with the light instrumentation far down on the ground as Karla sings "Were we to dance in dresses... costumes so fragile they might come apart."

The two Low songs, "Those Girls" and "Venus (Time Stereo Dub Version), were both recorded in 1997 and were both recorded by Warn Defever of His Name is Alive and Time Stereo fame. "Those Girls" is a wonderful upbeat pop song with beautiful vocal harmonies, similar to a lot of the singles that the band has released over the last few years. "Venus (Time Stereo Dub Version) is a different recording of this fan favorite track originally released on a 7". The new version is quite different from the original. Instead of guitar, bass, and drums, either they or Warn has replaced the main guitar line with an organ sound and replaced most of the drum parts with what sounds almost like a tambourine being hit like a symbol (probably because of heavy processing).

Since Ida and Low have successfully played a lot of shows together, it isn't surprising that these two bands work well together and compliment each other's writing style. This CD single make a nice addition to any Low or Ida fan's music collection.

daron gardner
2001 may 11