Low - review of Trust
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Low, Trust [Kranky / Inertia]

from dB Magazine (Australia), #289, 9-22 October 2002

We Liked It And You Will Too...

There are few bands for whom a forthcoming release can be confidently nominated as 'Album of the Year' without having actually heard it. However, Low is one such band. Formed in the early nineties this three piece from Duluth, Minnesota don't simply create songs, they create atmospheres that swallow you entirely and comfort you to sleep: lullabies for adults.

With every successive release Low somehow manage to improve on their heavenly slow-core formula of creating dark, minimalist music accompanied by fragile harmonies and lyrics that make you jealous that you hadn't thought of them first (for example: "There's nothing as sad as a man on his back counting stars" from Little Argument With Myself). With 'Trust', the band's sixth long player, there are many such highlights, including the uplifting and beautiful Snowstorm, with it's sleigh-like bells and drums that pound like heartbeats and the striking Point Of Disgust, which sees percussionist Mimi Parker shine on lead vocals.

Low make music full of voids, seconds of silence or reverb, in which the listener is given the opportunity to absorb both the music and lyrics and bathe in its purity, and yet Zac Sally's bass and Parker's percussion drives the band into deeper abysses. From the opening track, (That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace, it is evident that Low have sought to find new ways of bringing the intimacy of their live shows into your living room, as the vocals (like those on John Prine) capture the innocence and intensity of their live format. This can largely be credited to the fact that the band stepped out of the normal studio set up and created one in a church for the album's recording.

'Trust' also sees Low treading into new territory as they brought in well known mixer Tchad Blake (a man responsible for recording and mixing albums ranging from American Music Club's magnificent 'Mercury' to Spinal Tap's infamous 'Break Like The Wind'). Blake can be held responsible for the many little samples that appear on various tracks, such as the obscure horn-like noises midway through Snowstorm or the bells and whistles on ...Amazing Grace.

The only minor flaw with 'Trust' is that I'd prefer it to be one track fewer: Candy Girl interrupts the flow of the album and would be better appreciated as a B-side. But this is nitpicking: stop what you're doing, purchase 'Trust' then go home, turn off the lights, pour a glass of red and dissolve into the beautiful sounds of Low.

-- Ross Hocking


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