As of this year, the Minnesota trio Low have been together for 25 years. For much of that time, they were the band most closely associated with slowcore, the indie rock subgenre built around spartan guitar chimes and hushed, whispery vocals. And they made absolutely stunning music when they were staying in that lane. But for the past decade or so, Low have been branching out and trying different ideas. On their new album Double Negative, they push further out into unknown waters than they’ve ever been, and the result is one of their best albums.
Double Negative is as hushed and reverent and, in its own, way as pretty as any previous Low album. But it’s also built around synthetic drones and decaying sounds. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s vocals have been treated, distorted, and sometimes robotized. And instead of singing over an intricate tapestry of guitars and bass, they’ve using lovingly recorded bursts of electronic fuzz. Producer B.J. Burton worked with Low on their last album, 2015’s Ones And Sixes, and he also worked on records like Bon Iver’s 22, A Million.
When Low first announced the album, they shared videos for three of its songs: “Quorum,” “Dancing And Blood,” and “Fly.” And since then, they’ve also shared the album closer “Disarray.” But now, we get to hear the full vision of the album. It’s streaming at NPR.
Double Negative is out 9/14 on Sub Pop.