Slowcore: know the score! Gone are the days when Minnesota’s Low whispered through tracks timidly. They’ve been gradually sneaking electronics and grunge fuzz – exactly the sort of thing they started out as an antidote to back in 1993 – into their range over the past decade, carefully upping the pace, bit by bit, slowly but surely.
Take ‘What Part Of Me’, the second taster from forthcoming eleventh album ‘Ones And Sixes’. Despite being recorded at the Eau Claire studio of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, the Grand Poobah of tender-rock, it rattles along on a synthetic buzz, glacial guitar throb and the rhythm of a knackered tram. Driven by a desperate sentiment – “what part of me don’t you know?/What part of me don’t you own?” they trill – husband-wife pair Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker harmonise with more urgency and weight than has generally been their wont, giving the tune the mechanical, countrified indie-pop feel of early Stars. Don’t go thinking it doesn’t still have sleep in its eyes though; ‘upbeat’ for Low is still what Cerebral Ballzy would consider flatlining, but their fundamental languor and grace sails on into more dynamic sonic waters here. Sink in.