Low Roar
maybe tomorrow...


4.5
superb

Review

by Sowing STAFF
July 31st, 2021 | 58 replies


Release Date: 07/30/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Leaving this Earth's such a beautiful sound

Ever since Low Roar dropped 0 - which was just objectively perfect art - it's been a constant series of comparisons. Everything they've done since then has been immaculately produced, jaw-droppingly beautiful, and spine-tinglingly emotional, with their only true faults basically being that they weren't 0. As they've shapeshifted between electronic music, folk, and post-rock, they've retained what makes them special each step of the way. Whatever genre Low Roar adopts is just a fleshy exterior covering a superior musical genetic makeup, and I'm tired of pretending that it even matters what specific style they happen to be employing. The simple fact of the matter is that Low Roar don't know how to be imperfect; they just head into the studio and breathe out universal truths through soul-shattering ruminations and life-affirming celebrations. Every single time, it's a fucking gut punch.

maybe tomorrow... is no different. This thing glides in on the shimmering keys, cascading chimes, and magisterial horns of 'David', which is somehow devastating in spite of its absurd instrumental beauty as lead vocalist/confirmed genius Ryan Karazijah croons about meeting with old friends and kissing loved ones goodbye for the last time. The electronically altered effects placed upon his voice as the song swells to its most affecting pinnacle gives the whole experience an aura of buoyancy, as if the message is being sung through a wormhole in the ocean, from a future Karazijah. That's just five minutes into hour long excursion, and it's already one of the best moments by any artist in 2021. And this thing gets much, much better.

Like 'Fucked Up', which is basically a nine minute ode to getting plastered while watching America burn from afar; a full-stop separating spaced-out, ambient laments from an electronically-buzzing, synth-swirling, horn-blasting, falsetto-harmonizing tidal wave of gorgeous chaos. 'Hummingbird''s soul-cleansing crescendo is really just a ten second group chant that sounds unified in utter triumph only because so much of maybe tomorrow... stews in brooding isolation. But that's what Low Roar does - they plunge to the blackest depths, slowly build back towards the surface, and then blast off skyward whilst shimmering in the sunlight. Lead single 'Everything to Lose' is a goddamn breathtaking exercise in wistful ambient pop, sending synth keys looping around Karazijah's lines of "What if the sky falls in a fiery blend? Tell me how this will end" while crystalline pianos rain from the ceiling and two minutes of brilliantly clashing horns whisk the song away into the sunset.

The two best moments on the entire record are saved for last, as 'Captain' and 'Bye Bye' prove that Low Roar could indeed top 0 at some point in the not-so-distant future. 'Captain' is akin to guiding a ship through choppy, volatile waters; it's at times as smooth and serene as those pure-at-heart pianos, but a screeching wind whispers from afar (both literally and figuratively) while noticeable shifts in Ryan's inflections seem to signify that things are not really okay metaphorically, emotionally, and/or on all other planes of existence and alternate dimensions that Low Roar occupies. Karazijah really isn't okay either throughout most of maybe tomorrow... - take it from someone who has heard all of his records and has been promoting his work since long before Death Stranding. This thing has its moments of reconciliation and transient optimism, but it's overarchingly melancholic and mostly depressing as hell, with themes of death and other forms of agonizing loss dominating Ryan's headspace. I bring all this up not only because it's such a stark contrast from the meek folk wanderings of ross., but also because 'Captain' is such a perfect microcosm of this record: calm on the surface, but with turbulent undercurrents and a blackened horizon.

Then there's 'Bye Bye' and 'Clareland', which for all intents and purposes operate as a single ten-and-a-half minute curtain call, and it's a closing sequence which cements maybe tomorrow... as another nearly flawless entry into Low Roar's canon. Karazijah once again casually breaks our heart with confessions like "Dave, I'm so happy, but I'll never let it show" and "If you love me, David, please just let me go / You meant more to me than anyone will know" to a serenade of choral chants that stretch towards the heavens. At one point he even sings "With a universe so blue it never ends" before 'Bye Bye' fades into the breeze-blown chimes of 'Clareland', and those same chimes that usher maybe tomorrow... to its conclusion are the ones that we hear at the beginning of the album's opening track, titled - you guessed it, 'David.' Fuck, man. Low Roar have done something here that goes beyond merely crafting music that's both aesthetically alluring and impressive in scope - they've fashioned their own cyclical universe; this spinning sphere of blue so beautiful and actively fucked that you might even call it Earth.

I'm so ridiculously taken by maybe tomorrow..., which really shouldn't be surprising because Low Roar is one of the best and most important musical acts alive. I'm over feeling a sense of duty to remain measured and grounded with Karazijah's works, because nothing about his music is even remotely ordinary. It deserves to be praised with the same fervor that his art achieves. I could write a dissertation on every single track here, which is evidenced by the above paragraphs, but I also believe that his work merits an analysis even deeper than what I'm willing or able to provide. In terms of placement within Low Roar's catalog, the sheer majesty of these stunning and mystical arrangements means it resides near the project's upper echelon of releases (no, it's not quite on par with 0) - but as I've also already expressed, when you're writing music on this level, splitting hairs between the nearly perfect and the actually perfect seems like a foolish endeavor. The real failure would be not diving into Low Roar's music at all, or not fully investing yourself with a dedicated listen on a good set of headphones. The music is so pure, moving, and intricate that you can't afford to continue ignoring it: so don't.



s
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3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Don’t wait, listen today!...

related reviews

Low Roar

0

ross.


Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2021


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

need to pull myself away from eilish's new album and get on this at some point this weekend. i've no doubt in my mind this is going to be awesome.



standard banger of a review, sow. if i wasn't already sold on it, this would have done it.

Digging: Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

Gyromania
July 31st 2021


32913 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, honestly found this boring as shit tho. Gonna re-listen on Monday when I'm not working

Sowing
Moderator
July 31st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Gonz thanks, I can see you got around to it and enjoyed it! I felt like Eilish's latest dragged at first, but I wanted to invest a second dedicated listen to pick up on the lyrics. I feel like it's better than what a first impression could possibly let on. This album is actually similarly very slow, but the sheer beauty of the instrumental atmosphere sold me from the get-go.

@Gyro honestly this isn't a very exciting album, more like lush/shimmering/atmospheric. The Radiohead/Sigur Ros comparisons that have surrounded Low Roar since the beginning are surprisingly on-point. I don't think this will unseat 0 for anyone, but whew is it something to behold in the right setting.

Digging: The Felice Brothers - From Dreams to Dust

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2021


3361 Comments


wasn't sold on their last one but considering this has two beautiful reviews i shall jam!

Digging: Nightcrush - You Mark Me the Deepest

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2021


2762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Top-tier review, Sowing. It both feels like you wrote it effortlessly while also having a ton of great turns of phrase and giving the reader an immediate sense of your enthusiasm. I basically agree with your takes, if not being quite as enraptured by this.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2021


17121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I’ve only jammed it once and it’s — like eilish’s album — a slow burn that’s going to take a few listens to fully digest. Low roar never disappoint so I expect my rating to go up

Sowing
Moderator
July 31st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My first listen of this I felt it was a solid 4 nothing more, but then I found a little moment in every single song that I fell head over heels for. Then something overcame me last night and I was so enamored with this that I could barely even express my appreciation for it, so I wrote this in the midst of that feeling. It's intentionally effusive, but this seriously might be my favorite thing they've done since 0. It's like an oceanic version of Radiohead's AMSP. I considered 5'ing it but I'm not sure it's quite there yet even if it has that sort of ceiling.



Edit: Am I the only one who thinks the closing sequence of Everything to Lose, Captain, Bye Bye, and Clareland is breathtaking? Every time I hear it I want to slap a big ol' 5 on this thing, but then relative comedowns like Sleep Peacefully and Burial Ground prevent me from crossing the threshold. It's soooo tempting though. Ugh, Low Roar, you talented-as-fuck teases.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2021


21504 Comments


i need to check this band already

Sowing
Moderator
July 31st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Highly recommend starting with 0, but all their albums are standing ovations.

Gyromania
August 1st 2021


32913 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They should have titled the album sleep peacefully

Sowing
Moderator
August 1st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Naw. There's a difference between sleepy and sublime. ;-)

Slex
August 1st 2021


12151 Comments


Liked what I've heard from this

Digging: Trophy Scars - Astral Pariah

Sowing
Moderator
August 1st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's like a prettier Radiohead album for me. I don't listen to this kind of music for thrills, I listen to it for the atmosphere. This delivers big time.

Feather
August 1st 2021


7252 Comments


Great review, wasn’t particularly interested in the singles, but given that I love all of this bands work, I’m hoping that the full album clicks a bit more

Ebola
August 1st 2021


4133 Comments


I feel like a sowing 4.5 is a low 3 by any other metric
(great review as always though)

Sowing
Moderator
August 1st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks lol. I tend to only cover stuff that I want to highlight for a good reason, so my reviews skew very positive.

SublimeSound
August 1st 2021


40 Comments


More Low Roar!

Dig the review, you were very frankly moved by it, definitely excited to listen to this.

It kind of brings me back, "0" was one of the first masterpiece albums I discovered via Sputnik, and later, one of the most personally affecting reviews I ever wrote.

Cheers to Sowing for turning me on to more sublime, gorgeous music.

Sowing
Moderator
August 1st 2021


39076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! I just read your 0 review and it's amazing.

I don't think this is as good as 0 but Low Roar's whole discography is so lush and intricate, and this is quite possibly his most dazzling work. My only criticism would be that the songs are so lush and free-flowing that they sometimes lack a memorable shape, but I'm okay with that when the music is basically like Radiohead 2.0, ha.

g40st
August 1st 2021


447 Comments


Checked one song off this and found it horrible. Not my jam.

BigTuna
August 1st 2021


5597 Comments


I get Copeland vibes from this band at times. Which is a good thing. Listening to this now and it's wonderfully atmospheric.

Digging: Baby Keem - The Melodic Blue



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