Sumptuously rich folk band leave critics salivating at SXSW, sign to Bella Union, release record the following June. Sound familiar? Nope, it’s not the story of Fleet Foxes circa first half of 2008. Instead we refer to The Low Anthem and while the Rhode Island three-piece would no doubt bite your hand off for a slither of the Foxes 300,000-plus album sales when their second LP is reissued next month, they’ll certainly fit snuggly next to their new label mates in the mass folk revival. More straight up Neil Young than anything prefixed by a Crosby, Stills or a Nash, the band nevertheless possess the harmonies and lightness of touch to soundtrack a balmy night or two.
Formed around 2006, The Low Anthem was initially confined to the work of Ben Knox Miller, a folk musician and painter from New York and Jeff Prystowsky, a New Jersey jazz bassist and baseball scholar (yes a scholar of the great game, why would you bother with a band…). The pair were eventually joined by classical multi-instrumentalist Jocie Adams - who fittingly works in a similarly interesting area as a technician for NASA. Accountants, it seems, need not apply should The Low Anthem’s number swell further.
The band self-released their debut What The Crow Brings in 2007 and followed it up smartly with Oh My God, Charlie Darwin in September of last year. That album - a gospel record for scientists according to the band - has slow burned its way to where we are now: a re-release in the US via Nettwerk on June 9 and in Europe by Bella Union a year later. One, even cursory listen to its twin opening salvo of ‘Charlie Darwin’ and ‘To Ohio’ and easy to see what the gently growing fuss is about.
Websites and MySpace
The Low Anthem are one of those types of bands that seem to just float around for a while, managing bit by bit to earn themselves a nice little following. They last played Dublin in September ’09 when they supported Ray Lamontagne at the Gaiety before heading down to Stradbally for a, by...