...a.k.a.: here's where things start getting serious.....
#10: LOW- "The Invisible Way"
Low... a band hailing from Minnesota...the city of Duluth...nestled on the shores of Lake Superior. The band...2/3 of which are the long time married couple of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker. For many years, they WERE the band, before the addition of Steve Garrington on bass guitar. The vocal harmonies of Sparhawk and Parker are one of the most fascinating and engaging things about Low, if not my world of music, as a whole.
I don't know which is more surprising to me... the fact that LOW are one of the pioneering bands of the recent Indie Rock movement (they've been at it for over 20 years) and very few people know of them...or the fact that this "Slowcore" band are the byproduct of a Mormon couple, as their music is about as far removed from The Osmonds as you will find. That said, it's where I would much rather be... musically speaking.
The thing I love about Low is that they can keep things interesting, even though the music they do is sparse and of a more Lo-Fi nature. The way they made things interesting this time around was by having Jeff Tweedy of Wilco produce the record. Tweedy brought in his own brand of acoustic music, merged it with the original sounds of Low, and created one of my favorite albums of the year.
Even though much of America (or the world, for that matter) don't know or care about Low, a handful of important people do. One such person is Robert Plant, former vocalist of Led Zeppelin. Plant utilized two Low songs for his 2010 project, BAND OF JOY. One of those recordings garnered Plant a Grammy Award. In addition, legendary R&B vocalist Mavis Staples covered the song "Holy Ghost" (from "The Invisible Way"), thanks to having her latest album produced by Tweedy, as well.
While Alan Sparhawk is busy with a multitude of other side projects, Low seems to be his number one project and one of the most interesting bands that I listen to.
Below is a sampling of songs from Low... past and present.
First up, here is the full performance on Seattle radio station, KEXP (circa 2012)
"Especially Me" (2011)
"Plastic Cup" (2013)