Review Summary: The slowcore diaries
Upon listening Low's newest album, and while surfing the net for some info, I randomly found out that weird, tough-sounding term "slowcore". What is this thing? Had these mellow indie rockers tuned to post-doom, hardcore-inspired metalheads? Because -be honest here-, slowcore is a badass term. Well, not really. The band has been tagged with such a term for quite a long time. And while slow tempos, simple arrangements and delicate singing is still the way Low choose to express themselves, they would never have chosen such a name to characterize their music.
But we are only music critics, and amateur ones, so, the slowcore band from Minnesota, after 4 years of absence, releases C'Mon
. What we get is a collection of 10 carefully treated, poignant songs of unique simplicity. Low's melancholic nature is once again the driving force, but this time it is more refined and careful on when to exert its nostalgia. Both musically and lyrically, C'Mon
is characterized by immediate straightforwardness and a rare ability of sounding majestic with less means possible. And it's mainly because of the band's long experience on experimentation that the record sounds tight, coherent and beautiful without bombastic outbursts of unpredictable instrumentation. The instrumental arrangements, though mostly basic, are haunting and even dramatic at times, usually when the vocal harmonies arrive, as gentle touches of intimacy. The creation of such a lush sound is successfully combined with the lyrical themes, which mostly follow the music's pace. "Try to Sleep" opens the album vibrantly, and warns the listener : what follows is as tender as drowsy. From the rasping fuzz and the obscure banjo notes of "Witches" to the warm and evocative "Especially Me", Low showcase songwriting maturity whereas delivering some of their best lines ever: " 'Cause if we knew where we belong/ There'd be no doubt where we're from/ But as it stands, we don't have a clue/ Especially me and probably you"
Parker sings and we can harshly doubt her, as well as the fact that it would be difficult for us to find a more beautiful, nocturnal ballad than "Nightingale".
Accessible, consistent, harnessing both emotion and grandiosity, C' Mon
is surely the best album you'll get from the "slowcore" (ugh) genre this year - I bet there would be no others. If you are not one of the loyal novelty-hunters of modern music, then C' Mon
will surely be one of your best winter friends.