Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'd Love To Turn You On #14: Low - Secret Name

Low - Secret Name (Kranky)

Low are an unusual three piece band who choose the slower side of rock over the standard faster paced music most popular rock bands of the 90's played. This album was my first real introduction to Low and has remained a favorite. The harmonies and melodies of husband/wife Alan and Mimi's vocals are emotional and very memorable. Alan's guitar can be soft and soothing and also can build to a powerful, sometimes noisy wall, all the while staying at a gentle pace. Songs such as “Starfire,” “Lion/Lamb” and “Will the Night” have become live favorites - and my favorite song by this band, “Two-Step,” is also on Secret Name. “Two-Step” to me is the epitome of what Low's sound is about: slow, melodic and a perfect segue of male vocals into female vocals with a combining of the two in the song's climax! Low have recently started experimenting more with electronics and distortion on the guitar (see albums Drums and Guns and The Great Destroyer respectively) which have great results as well due to the truly original songwriting, but I love the soft guitars and mellow moods of Secret Name the most. This band needs attention in a quiet setting or headphones to show its powerful essence, though live they shine brightly too with unique renditions of album songs and an occasional cover like Pink Floyd's “In the Flesh?” So check out one of Low's nine albums or multiple EPs or even the rarities box set, but I suggest you start with the beautiful Secret Name.

- Joel

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