Over the past 25 years, the Minnesota trio Low have become an American indie institution, and they’ve done it by consistently challenging themselves, finding new places to push their sound. Recent Low records sound absolutely nothing like the music that the band was making early on, and that’s a cool thing. But Low arrived with an extremely cool sound, too, and a new cover really shows that.
Low’s first few records, termed “slowcore,” by those of us who get paid to come up with goofy-ass terms like that, are hushed, lovely, harmony-heavy pieces of American underground rock. They went against the prevailing sludge-dirge trends of the time, and they pointed the way forward for a whole lot of people. Today, we get to hear New York dream-rockers DIIV and soft, spectral singer-songwriter Sarah Beth Tomberlin take on “Words,” a song from Low’s 1994 debut album I Could Live In Hope.
DIIV released their new album Deceiver a couple of months ago, while Tomberlin is still touring on last year’s astonishing debut At Weddings. Together, DIIV and Tomberlin played a long, meditative, faithful cover of “Words,” a truly beautiful song, at a recent live-in-studio SiriusXMU session. Zachary Cole Smith and Tomberlin really hit those tingly harmonies. Below, listen to the DIIV/Tomberlin version of “Words,” as well as the original.
DIIV’s Deceiver is out now on Captured Tracks, while Tomberlin’s At Wedding is out now on Saddle Creek. And if you don’t have Low’s 1999 Christmas EP on heavy rotation this time of year, then you aren’t doing the holiday season right.