Album of the Week: Low

Double Negative Out Now via Sub Pop

Sep 14, 2018 Photography by Paul Husband
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Low released a new album, Double Negative, today via Sub Pop and it's our Album of the Week. Double Negative is the follow-up to 2015's Ones and Sixes. A press release announcing the album described Double Negative as Low's "most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album." In our review of Double Negative, our writer Adam Turner-Heffer calls the album "their most inventive yet." It's a challenging album to be sure, one that rewards continued investment to peel back its complex layers. As Turner-Heffer puts it: "There is a genuine thrill in seeing a band so far into their career taking chances such as this." 

The band (Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington) recorded the album at Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (where they recorded Ones and Sixes) with producer B.J. Burton (Bon Iver, Lizzo, James Blake, and Francis and the Lights), who also co-produced Ones and Sixes. The press release said the band "knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds: they wanted to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, 'a hip-hop guy' could truly do with their music." 

When the album was announced they shared videos for three new songs, "Quorum," "Dancing and Blood," and "Fly" (shared as one complete 14-minute piece, a triptych, as well as separately). The songs all made our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared the album's closing track, "Disarray" (which was #2 on our Songs of the Week list). Then NPR streamed the whole album a week early and Low shared a video for "Rome (Always in the Dark)."

Music writer Grayson Currin wrote the band's bio for this album and described the album as such: "Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive 'Quorum.' For 40 minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion."

Pick up Under the Radar's current print issue (Issue 64) to read our exclusive interview with Low on Double Negative.

Read our 2015 print magazine interview with Low's Alan Sparhawk about Ones and Sixes, as well as our 2015 digital magazine bonus Q&A with Sparhawk.

Low Tour Dates:

2018:

Sep. 19 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 20 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 21 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 29 - Lisbon, PT - Lisboa ao Vivo
Oct. 01 - De Compostela Santiago, ES - Sala Capitol
Oct. 02 - Madrid, ES - Sala But
Oct. 03 - Barcelona, ES - Fabra i Coats
Oct. 05 - Milan, IT - Teatro Dal Verme
Oct. 06 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F
Oct. 08 - Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz
Oct. 09 - Berlin, DE - Festsaal Kreuzberg
Oct. 10 - Bochum, DE - Christuskirche Bochum
Oct. 11 - Brussels, BE -  Orangerie (at Botanique)
Oct. 12 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
Oct. 13 - Paris, FR - La Gaîté Lyrique
Oct. 15 - Bristol, UK - Trinity
Oct. 16 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Cathedral
Oct. 17 - Dublin, IE - Vicar Street
Nov. 02 - St. Paul, MN - The Fitz
Nov. 05 - Detroit, MI - El Club
Nov. 06 - Toronto, ON - Great Hall
Nov. 08 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa
Nov. 09 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Nov. 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
Nov. 12 - Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
Nov. 13 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Funhouse
Nov. 14 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Nov. 15 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
Nov. 16 - Chicago, IL - Rockefeller Chapel
Nov. 17 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
 
2019:

Jan. 29 - Glasgow, UK - Tramway
Jan. 30 - Birmingham, UK - Birmingham Town Hall
Jan. 31 - Brighton, UK - St. George's Church Brighton
Feb. 01 - London, UK - Barbican
Feb. 02 - Kortrijk, BE - De Kreun
Feb. 04 - Groningen, NL - Vera
Feb. 05 - Erlangen, DE - E-Werk (Erlangen)
Feb. 06 - Cologne, DE - Kulturkirche Köln
Feb. 07 - Frankfurt, DE - Sankt Peter
Feb. 08 - Hamburg, DE - Uebel & Gefährlich
Feb. 09 - Aarhus, DK - Voxhall
Feb. 11 - København, DK - The Koncerthuset - Studie 2
Feb. 12 - Gothenburg, SE - Pustervik
Feb. 13 - Oslo - Norway - Parkteatret
Feb. 14 - Stockholm, SE - Kagelbanan (Small Room)
Mar. 08 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall
Mar. 09 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
Mar. 11 -  Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
Mar. 12 - Tustin, CA - Marty's On Newport
Mar. 13 - Tijuana, MX - Moustache
Mar. 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room
Mar. 16 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
Mar. 18 - Portland, OR - Star Theater
Mar. 19 - Vancouver, BC - Imperial
Mar. 20 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
Mar. 23 - Provo, UT -  Velour Live Music Gallery    

www.chairkickers.com

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

Black Belt Eagle Scout: Mother of My Children (Saddle Creek)

Brandon Coleman: Resistance (Brainfeeder) 

The Goon Sax: We're Not Talking (Wichita)

Guerilla Toss: Twisted Crystal (DFA)

Jungle: For Ever (XL)

Fred Thomas: Aftering (Polyvinyl)

We Were Promised Jetpacks: The More I Sleep the Less I Dream (Self-Released)

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