NPR's All Songs Considered introduced me to this weeks M4M, The Low Anthem. If you're not familiar with All Songs Considered, and you're inclined towards music outside the mainstream, you have to check it out. Fear not, even though it's on NPR, it's not just jazz. They get into world music (which is a shit descriptor, like all the music outside of the English-speaking world is a single style), sub-genres, emerging genres, and everything in between. And their Tiny Desk Concerts really bring some of these bands to life.
The Low Anthem hits one of my happy buttons, having a mixed boy/girl line-up. On top of that, their most recent album, Smart Flesh, was recorded in a defunct pasta factory in Rhode Island. The cavernous space gives their tracks a subtlely haunting, lonely aspect that really resonates with their pained lyrics. If you read the reviews of their two studio albums, you'll see that many critics did not care as much for Oh My God, Charlie Darwin as they do the most recent release (Charlie Darwin was praised in many outlets when it was released, though). Certainly Smart Flesh is more cohesive and brings a consistent vision to the album. They clearly know their craft better. That said, I prefer Charlie Darwin. The title track is fantastic. And for my money, To Ohio is their best song. It has such a sparse, melodic presence, I will sometimes put it on repeat-1 when I'm writing or walking through the urban wasteland of Seoul.
If you're in the mood for something folk-y, you could do a lot worse than The Low Anthem.
Official Page: www.lowanthem.com
On Facebook: facebook.com/TheLowAnthem
On Twitter: twitter.com/thelowanthem