Financial expediency drove The Low Anthem to record their second album, What the Crow Brings , in their own homes, but this Providence, Rhode Island-based quartet has since learnt the worth of an inspirational setting. The group's existentially themed breakthrough record Oh My God, Charlie Darwin was made on Block Island, off the coast of their home state. Now comes Smart Flesh , which came into the world in an abandoned pasta sauce factory back on the mainland. With recording undertaken in winter , the chill of the vacant building seems to have permeated the album's unremittingly dark music. The factory's cavernous reverb also engulfs some decidedly creaky instrumentation, with The Low Anthem employing clarinet, bowed saw, lonesome banjo and asthmatic pump-organ on their spectral, sepia-tinted songs. If the record has a message, it is that all things must pass, and material such as I'll Take Out Your Ashes is unflinchingly honest. We get everything from a song by George Carter Ghost Woman Blues to an atonal woodwind instrumental Wire that conjures Talk Talk's meditative masterpiece Spirit of Eden , but communing with Smart Flesh in the wee small hours is an eerie experience. Musically, at least, the piano-led hymnal Golden Cattle lifts the spirits somewhat, but The Reaper , never quite out of shot here, soon returns to steal the final scene. A bleak if beautiful listen.
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March ft. Zara Larsson , Celeste , Ghetts. The album is drenched in Americana, both in influence and subject matter, and while their musical similarities are easy to spot, there is enough originality and quality found throughout the record to leave a lasting impression on anyone. The light finger picking of the guitar gently guides the sparse song forward, with a bevy of other instruments chiming in to add to the doleful nature of the song without ever overwhelming the fragile heart of the track. The album features a wide variety of eclectic sounds saxophone, piano, cello, tabla drum, pump organ, and other traditional and assuredly non-traditional folk instruments , but it never sounds cluttered or strident, which is a testament to the talent and refinement of the band, and also to Jesse Lauter , who co-produced the record with the group in the heart of a desolate Block Island winter.
The current lineup consists of Knox Miller vocals, guitars, trumpets, saws , Prystowsky vocals, drums, double basses, synths , Bryan Minto vocals, guitars, harmonicas and Florence Grace Wallis violins, vocals. They became friends and teammates for a local wood-bat baseball team called the Providence Grays Providence, Rhode Island , that Prystowsky was player-managing, while teaching baseball history at a local high school. Miller and Prystowsky played in various ensembles together ranging from classical and jazz to electronica, and The Low Anthem was formed in In the fall of , Dan Lefkowitz, a bluesman from Strasburg, Virginia , joined the band and contributed to the development of their earlier sound by writing "This God Damn House". Early in , Lefkowitz left the band to pursue simple living in a yurt in Arkansas. Ever since, the band continues to play the song in their live sets, ending the arrangement with the cell phone trick, where feedback loops create a haunting reverb that the whole audience participates in. The band became a trio again in late with the addition of classical composer and clarinetist Jocie Adams, then, a fellow student, who joined the band after a late-night recording session for the band's album "What The Crow Brings". The band took on every aspect of manufacturing the album including dumpster diving for empty cereal boxes to fold into album sleeves, creating the silkscreens for the album art, and hand painting and serial-numbering copies of the album.
The Low Anthem is one of the most innovative bands working today. You also get to hear excerpts of a few tracks off the album. Interview conducted by Adam Kampe with help from Scott Sell. The band quickly became known for their experimentation with song structure and instrumentation, integrating less traditional rock instruments—like clarinet and the pump organ—into gorgeously wrought, smart songs. The band currently also includes Jocie Adams and Mike Irwin. In they self-released their album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin , which received rave reviews and was later re-released by the Nonesuch label. Their album, Smart Flesh , was famously recorded in an abandoned pasta sauce factory in the small town of Central Falls, Rhode Island. Or what sounds are making us excited? For instance, one example is how we came to use the pump organ.