Album Review: Low – The Invisible Way

10 studio albums in 20 years is an impressive feat for any band especially when they are still producing brilliant music all these years on. Bringing in a new producer, Jeff Tweedy, and engineer, Grammy winner Tom Schick has helped the band progress with their sound for this release.

Low’s new album The Invisible Way is full of beautiful and peaceful songs that flow together effortlessly. Minimal sounds, melancholy lyrics and a slow tempo throughout really sums up what this album is. With songs about intimacy, war and love it’s a real insight into the important and emotional issues in all our lives.

The album opens gently with ‘Plastic Cup’ and guides you slowly into ‘Amethyst’ with a quiet piano and guitar minute and a half intro before the vocals come in. Lead singer and guitarist Alan Sparhawk’s vocals sit perfectly with drummer and singer Mimi Parker’s voice on ‘Amethyst’ creating dreamlike vocals. One of the biggest changes on this album compared to the band’s other releases is that Mimi sings alone on a lot more songs than she has done before which will be to the joy and approval of fans. The first example of this is on ‘So Blue’ with its piano opening and build up into the repetitive chorus, it’s the most up tempo song on the album thus far.

When vocals are left to stand alone against the gentle strumming of a guitar it gives you the perfect opportunity to really hear the lyrics and their content, this is exactly the case on ‘Holy Ghost’. The fade out of ‘Holy Ghost’ is set in stark contrast to the bold immediate start of ‘Waiting’ with its exposed vocals it’s a sad and sparse sounding song. Sparhawk and Parker’s vocals both have quite a country feel and sound to them that create such wonderful vocal harmonies whether singing together or on their own.

‘On My Own’ features a chorus completely different to everything else that has gone before. The heavy electric guitar riff adds a more rock element to the ambient indie guitar and soft piano music of the rest of the album. The Invisible Way ends in much the same way as it starts with the gentle and lovely ‘To Our Knees’.

This is beautiful, ambient indie music from a band just using the basics, minimal instruments and sounds, proving that stripped back tracks can still be interesting and a remarkable listen.

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