Low's New Heights

Low's New Heights
New label, new producer, new sound, new baby; everything about Low's new album, The Great Destroyer — even the title — screams change. Yet Mimi Parker, she of drums and heavenly voice in the Duluth, Minnesota threesome, holds that the changes, especially the more up-tempo sound, are not as intentional as it seems.

"We've hinted at this in the last few records. There was never anything contrived; we didn't sit down and have a meeting and decide ‘We're gonna go this way now.' It was a very natural thing — this is what came out, these are the songs that we wrote."

One element contributing to changes for Low is noted indie producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev). "We're big fans of the Lips," Mimi enthuses. "A lot of the bigger sound [on The Great Destroyer] has to do with Fridmann, since he makes things big and full-sounding, which is what we wanted."

Indeed, fans of earlier Low material may be a little ruffled by the tight, poppy feel of "California," or the loud, ringing guitar dirges of "When I Go Deaf," but the catharsis is welcomed by the band. "That's what the songs needed. If we tried to restrain them, it would not have worked," according to Mimi. "It's nice to be able to do that, not hold ourselves back, which maybe, in the first few years, we probably would have, but we've matured as people, and as a band we've decided to throw out the rules. [Now it's] like ‘This song needs some sort of whacked-out bass fuzz thing, it needs big drum. What the hell? Why not? Let's do it!'" Low seemingly betray their album title, finding their inspiration not in destruction, but in those simple acts of transformation. The great creators, maybe?