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Low

Formed in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1993, Low were perhaps the slowest of the so-called "slowcore" bands -- delicate, austere, and hypnotic, the trio's music rarely rose above a whisper, divining its dramatic tension in the unsettling open spaces created by the absence of sound. Initially comprising the husband-and-wife team of guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk and drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker along with bassist John Nichols, Low began as an experimental reaction to the predominance of grunge. Producer and Shimmy Disc Records founder Kramer soon invited the group to record at his Noise N.J. studios, and the resulting demos earned them a deal with the Virgin-distributed Vernon Yard label.

After reentering the studio with Kramer, Low emerged with their 1994 debut, I Could Live in Hope, a beautiful set spotlighting the trio's hauntingly minimal aesthetic -- even Parker's drum set consisted of only a snare and a hi-hat. Nichols exited the group prior to 1995's lovely Long Division, recorded with new bassist Zak Sally. A subsequent appearance on the Joy Division tribute A Means to an End was later expanded into the following year's Transmission EP, a five-track set also featuring a rendition of Supreme Dicks' "Jack Smith." With new producer Steve Fisk behind the boards, Low returned later in 1996 with The Curtain Hits the Cast. The Songs for a Dead Pilot EP followed in 1997 and marked Low's debut with their new label, Kranky, for whom they also released the critically acclaimed Secret Name in 1999. The late '90s also saw them issue Owl (Low Remixes) and the Christmas mini-album, which featured a cover of "Little Drummer Boy" that became a minor hit when it was featured in The Gap's holiday season commercials in 2000.

The band's brilliant Things We Lost in the Fire arrived on Kranky in 2001, with the darker, more subdued Trust coming the following year. Two years later, the B-sides/rare tracks collection A Lifetime of Temporary Relief appeared on Low's own Chairkickers Music imprint. For their seventh full-length album, 2005's The Great Destroyer, Low moved to Sub Pop; the second leg of the group's tour in support of the album had to be canceled after Sparhawk announced he was in treatment for depression. By 2007 he was feeling well enough to return to work, and the group released its second LP for Sub Pop, the politically charged Drums and Guns; Sparhawk had also launched a side project, the Retribution Gospel Choir, whose debut album appeared in 2008.

Released in 2011, C'mon marked the debut of bassist Steve Garrington, while the band also stretched its boundaries by working with producer Matt Beckley, who had previously worked with mainstream pop acts such as Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne. In 2013, Low's 20th anniversary year, the group released The Invisible Way, which featured production from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. Low returned with a new studio album, Ones and Sixes, in September 2015, which the band produced in collaboration with recording engineer BJ Burton; Glenn Kotche of Wilco was a guest on the sessions. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: What Part Of Me (Single)

1. What Part Of Me

x

Track List: The Invisible Way

1. Plastic Cup

2. Amethyst

3. So Blue

4. Holy Ghost

5. Waiting

6. Clarence White

7. Four Score

8. Just Make It Stop

9. Mother

10. On My Own

11. To Our Knees

x

Track List: C'mon

1. Try To Sleep

2. You See Everything

3. Witches

4. Done

5. Especially Me

6. $20

7. Majesty/Magic

8. Nightingale

9. Nothing But Heart

10. Something's Turning Over

x

Track List: Drums And Guns

1. Pretty People

2. Belarus

3. Breaker

4. Dragonfly

5. Sandinista

6. Always Fade

7. Dust On The Window

8. Hatchet

9. Your Poison

10. Take Your Time

11. In Silence

12. Murderer

13. Violent Past

x

Track List: The Great Destroyer

1. Monkey

2. California

3. Everybody's Song

4. Silver Rider

5. Just Stand Back

6. On The Edge Of

7. Cue The Strings

8. Step

9. When I Go Deaf

10. Broadway (So Many People)

11. Pissing

12. Death Of A Salesman

13. Walk Into The Sea

x

Track List: A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief: 10 Years Of B-Sides & Rarities

Disc 1

1. Lullaby (Demo)

2. Cut (Demo)

3. Heartbeat

4. Peanut Butter Toast And American Bandstand

5. Tired

6. I Started A Joke

7. The Plan (Demo)

8. Prisoner (Demo)

9. Prisoner

10. Tomorrow One

11. Turning Over

12. Bright

13. Walk You Out

14. Tear Down

15. Standby

16. David & Jude

17. Cheek

Disc 2

1. Venus

2. Boyfriends & Girlfriends

3. Surf

4. No Need (Version 1)

5. Be There

6. Lift

7. Joan Of Arc

8. Long Long Long

9. Lion / Lamb (Demo)

10. Will The Night (Demo)

11. Last Breath

12. Joan Of Arc (20 Below Mix)

13. Old Man Song

14. Try Try Try

15. Lord, Can You Hear Me?

16. Venus (Time Stereo Dub Mix)

Disc 3

1. I Remember

2. Kindly Blessed

3. Blue-Eyed Devil

4. Sleep At The Bottom

5. When You Walked

6. Back Home Again

7. Don't Drop The Baby

8. Surfer Girl

9. Blowin' In The Wind

10. Open Arms

11. ...I Love

12. Carnival Queen

13. Overhead

14. Don't Carry It All

15. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

16. Because You Stood Still

17. Fearless

18. Shots & Ladders

Disc 4
x

Track List: Things We Lost In The Fire

1. Sunflower

2. Whitetail

3. Dinosaur Act

4. Medicine Magazines

5. Laser Beam

6. July

7. Embrace

8. Whore

9. Kind Of Girl

10. Like A Forest

11. Closer

12. Untitled

13. In Metal

x

Track List: Owl Remix

1. Down (Porter Ricks)

2. Anon (Neotropic Spore)

3. Over The Ocean (Tranquility Bass)

4. Laugh (DJ Vadim)

5. Anon (Neotropic)

6. Do You Know How To Waltz (Neotropic)

7. Over The Ocean (Skull Valley Dub)

8. Words (Jimmy Somerville & Sally Herbert)

x

Track List: The Curtain Hits The Cast

1. Anon

2. The Plan

3. Over The Ocean

4. Mom Says

5. Coattails

6. Stand By

7. Laugh

8. Lust

9. Stars Gone Out

10. Same

11. Do You Know How To Waltz?

12. Dark

x

Track List: Long Division

1. Violence

2. Below & Above

3. Shame

4. Throw Out The Line

5. Swingin'

6. See Through

7. Turn

8. Caroline

9. Alone

10. Streetlight

11. Stay

12. Take

x

Track List: I Could Live In Hope

1. Words

2. Fear

3. Cut

4. Slide

5. Lazy

6. Lullaby

7. Sea

8. Down

9. Drag

10. Rope

11. Sunshine

x

Track List: Lies (Single)

1. Lies

x

Track List: No Comprende (Single)

1. No Comprende

x

Track List: Ones And Sixes

1. Gentle

2. No Comprende

3. Spanish Translation

4. Congregation

5. No End

6. Into You

7. What Part Of Me

8. The Innocents

9. Kid In The Corner

10. Lies

11. Landslide

12. DJ

x

Track List: Secret Name

1. I Remember

2. Starfire

3. Two Step

4. Weight Of Water

5. Missouri

6. Don't Understand

7. Soon

8. Immune

9. Lion/Lamb

10. Days Of...

11. Will The Night

12. Home

x

Track List: Songs For A Dead Pilot

1. Will The Night

2. Condescend

3. Born By The Wires

4. Be There

5. Landlord

6. Hey Chicago

x

Track List: Trust

1. (That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace

2. Canada

3. Candy Girl

4. Time Is the Diamond

5. Tonight

6. The Lamb

7. In the Drugs

8. Last Snowstorm of the Year

9. John Prine

10. Little Argument With Myself

11. La La Song

12. Point of Disgust

13. Shots & Ladders

Comments

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Where'd that fresh, warm pile of feces go to? Oh, never mind, bobsonit!
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I am unable add this artist to any of my stations. They obviously exist in Pandora, but I type the name to add or create and am unable to. Please fix this Pandora. This has happened before with the band Free and I entered a similar comment and the problem was fixed. I would like to think that you guys were with it enough to have seen it and responded because if so that would be awesome. Please help
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bobonit's dentures smell like expired mayo
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Get this loser music offa my Pandora
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They just get better with age.
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@Belt Funny
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I had a roommate about 20 years ago who listened to this and the Cowboy Junkies constantly, while lying on his mattress staring up at the ceiling fan. Later, he made a movie that was mostly just a ceiling fan going around and around. What a fun roommate he was. Whee!
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mike45112
Soooo good. Quality music!
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to live for....
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kbarton73
I love Low. The Great Destroyer was the album I had been waiting their entire career for them to make.
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kimerooney
what is up with the lyrics being sooo off on pandora!
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john_wallick 8
Boooring!
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terrilh2k2
The lyrics listed on Pandora to this song are NOT even close!
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I'm glad to know Low personally, their music is exactly what I waited for so long to discover...a n d I am in total agreement with Christina Goodall. I have never really encountered a band which sounds EVEN BETTER live. In terms of plagiarism.. . 1 2 notes in different octaves exist in music...so a lot of piggybacking and inspiration can occur when creating music.
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still have yet to hear this
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Interesting to have alongside The Tea Party.
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Low is my medicine..I breath them in every time I need fresh air
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mandioka7
Probably because 'Fearless' is a Pink Floyd song. Low does an incredible job with it, though.
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The song Fearless sounds like the best kinda Pink Floyd tune.
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thewinkwonde r
just saw Low in NYC it was stunning...I had goosebumps
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"Things We Lost In The Fire", is one of a handful of the greatest albums of all time.
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Saw these guys at the Winnipeg Folk Festival a few years back one of the best performences ive ever witnessed
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cover of Back Home Again is STUNNING!
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rudd.kari
Christmas album isn't listed up there. I always get excited about the annual Christmas music show. Santa's coming over, santa's coming over, santa's coming over SANTA'S COMING OVER!
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stoneg74
Great band that deserves more recognition.
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cool
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Love. Saw the band do a no-opener show at Mercury Lounge in NYC last year. They played for, I believe, 2.5 hours, and there was still a whole slew of amazing songs they didn't get to that I was so disappointed not to hear. This is not to complain about the show because it was A-M-A-Z-I-N- G : all I'm saying is, they have so much good music that they could've probably played 'til the sun came up and still left us wanting more.
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tonight the monkey dies. I love LOW.
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Not my cup of tea personally but they show up from time to time on my station. at any rate, my two cents worth, Missouri, at the beggining and in most of the chord progressions you hear pretty plainly If by Bread. I'm surprised this one wasn't caught somewhere along the way because if I were the one who wrote "If", I'd be screaming bloody murder that I'd been plagiarized.
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ricq1
I was fortunate enough to see these fine folks on their ICLIH tour while I lived in North Carolina. What wonderful and friendly people they are, especially Alan who tracked down his bandmates after the show so they would sign my CD. I'm glad to finally and proudly say that I live in the same state they do!
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Die MONKEY die!
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marya_thorne
Amazing... see them live!
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F*ing great band
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bromide01
I can't decide if I'm with Event Horizon.
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I'm with Event Horizon...I can't decide either.
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Several of the heavier tracks of Great Destroyer (On the Edge, When I go Deaf) make the hair on my neck stand, and I just want to scream, cry, or simply stare into the back of my soul. Low is magical.
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Dark, scary and I love it.
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cerridwen_01
i am lucky enough to know this kids. they are amazing all around.
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eyeofthestud e n t
Amazing epic sounds from such a minimal little group! Low rocks my world 5 times over, Mimi's voice hits the middle of your heart chakra and takes you deep down low. If ya don't get it yet, I'd say you thinkin' too hard. Let your mind go and feel your way into it. Close your eyes, get really stoned, dim the lighting... the sound is very intimate. I think that's why some people aren't sure right away if they love it, you don't expect music like this to make you feel so much. But it's oh so sweet.
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I'm with Event Horizon on this band - it's the kind of thing you have to listen to in the car on repeat an' see if it settles in. Don't know if I like them (yet).
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Can't decide...... . . . . . l i k e / n o t like
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.
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so f**kin amazing it makes your feet hurt from running to the next best low-esque sounding music project. ps- there isn't anything this good anywhere. so stay at hom and rest those lil dogs on an ottoman and grab a lortab and a milkshake and listen. woweeeeeeeee e r e e

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