Invisible No More
Some bands make music and some bands have a career. It’s hard to teach some snot-nosed punk who “just wants to rock” that things often take time, that relationships must be garnered and that your very songcraft must be given a chance to evolve. Time goes on, things change. In fact, after this has been done you will likely have something vastly more valuable than “fame” or “success.” You will have a legacy, and quite possibly a very fine body of work.
The Invisible Way is Low’s 10th album, and it is full of everything that makes it unmistakably Low—but adeptly produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and there probably couldn’t have been a better choice. Low’s sound has always been of the softer, quieter variety, but as of recent work, they’ve brought in some punchier dynamics, most evident on the chugging “On My Own.” This second-side gem plunges midway into a distortion drone that brings to mind a jam band festival more than anything, with a refrain of “happy birthday, happy birthday” to round it off. This is a genuine moment of absurd eclecticism that is not uncommon for Low.
In fact, a wide range of “unique concerns” are addressed on Way, be it introversion, an open letter to one’s mother or the possible future of a plastic cup. And there is plenty of what might be Low’s signature: the float-on-air harmonies of husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker. These are extremely personal and rich with a soul that can only come from such a quantity of time together, singing together—through all the highs and lows.
Low are a band you may have never taken note of. They haven’t had any particular hit singles, and yet their music has been featured on a commercial or two, Hollywood films and lots of TV shows. They’ve even been on some pretty decent labels. Oh, and they’ve been covered by Robert Plant. No big deal. For those who find themselves drawn to a life of making music, Low represent the values every hopeful should bear in mind when setting out, the most important being “keep going.” For every overnight success story, there are easily a hundred artists who do the deed whether notoriety comes or doesn’t. Not that they don’t want the exposure, but if this is your calling, then there really isn’t any other choice. Keep going.