13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The dark Americana tones of the Low Anthem’s 2007 debut, What the Crow Brings, piqued the interest of many alt-folk fans, but mostly flew under the radar. Oh My God Charlie Darwin is more energetic than the debut, with a grungy blues aesthetic fueling tracks like the Tom Waits-ish “The Horizon Is a Beltway,” as well as the more spiritually inclined “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around.” Fans of Deer Tick and Fleet Foxes should feel at home here; foot stomper “Home I’ll Never Be” might put a hole right through the floorboards, and the weightless, reverbed falsetto of “Charles Darwin” and hymnal harmonics on tracks like “Cage the Songbird” recall the Foxes’ stellar work. Instruments like zither, clarinet, pump organ and even a music box sprinkle a bittersweet and oddly nostalgic feel throughout; “To Ohio” sighs with wistfulness, all swelling woodwinds and barely picked guitars, and the spirit of vintage Bob Dylan permeates several tracks, especially the intimate Don’t Tremble.” Oh My God is full of beautiful, inspired alt-folk music, made with loving care. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The dark Americana tones of the Low Anthem’s 2007 debut, What the Crow Brings, piqued the interest of many alt-folk fans, but mostly flew under the radar. Oh My God Charlie Darwin is more energetic than the debut, with a grungy blues aesthetic fueling tracks like the Tom Waits-ish “The Horizon Is a Beltway,” as well as the more spiritually inclined “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around.” Fans of Deer Tick and Fleet Foxes should feel at home here; foot stomper “Home I’ll Never Be” might put a hole right through the floorboards, and the weightless, reverbed falsetto of “Charles Darwin” and hymnal harmonics on tracks like “Cage the Songbird” recall the Foxes’ stellar work. Instruments like zither, clarinet, pump organ and even a music box sprinkle a bittersweet and oddly nostalgic feel throughout; “To Ohio” sighs with wistfulness, all swelling woodwinds and barely picked guitars, and the spirit of vintage Bob Dylan permeates several tracks, especially the intimate Don’t Tremble.” Oh My God is full of beautiful, inspired alt-folk music, made with loving care. 

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5

123 Ratings

123 Ratings

Uh-mazing

shillelagh27

It is as if you baked pie after pie of delicious music and my ears are world class competitive eaters. You keep baking and I'll keep eating.

hurry...

rgillpsu

listen often and relentlessly before this band becomes, "2009's Fleet Foxes."

Outstanding

Seldon452

This album has everything. The Low Anthem deliver a compete album from the sorrowful but rich lyrics of "Charlie Darwin" and "Ticket Taker" to the rock feel of "The Horizon is A Beltway" to the ghostly instrumentals of "Music Box." The lyrics are brilliant, and I suggest you read them to get the full experience (I highly recommend reading lyrics all the time, but this is one album where it is a must.) Buy this album now because this band will be a sensation within months.

About The Low Anthem

An eclectic project that's traversed traditional roots influences, conceptual psych-rock, and atmospheric folktronica, the Low Anthem formed in Providence, Rhode Island in 2006. Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, both students at Brown University, as well as late-night DJs at the school's radio station, drew upon their background as classical composers to help mold a unique brand of Americana that made room for gospel, folk, and blues. Jocie Adams joined one year later, and the Low Anthem began widening their arsenal of instruments accordingly, utilizing everything from World War I pump organs to crotales in the process. After making its independent debut with 2007's What the Crow Brings, the band rang in 2008 by temporarily relocating to Block Island -- a remote location 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast -- to record an album with producer Jesse Lauter. The stark, serene environment proved to be appropriate for the music, which the band initially self-released under the title Oh My God, Charlie Darwin.

As their buzz continued to build, the Low Anthem signed a contract with Nonesuch Recordings and reissued Oh My God in 2009, supporting the release with a string of performances at summer festivals. Multi-instrumentalist Mat Davidson (Twain) was added to the lineup later that year, joining their ranks one month before the Low Anthem headed to Central Falls, Rhode Island, to record a third LP. Setting up a makeshift studio inside an abandoned pasta sauce factory, the group recorded Smart Flesh over a period of three months, making good use of the building's cavernous, resonant spaces. The album was released in February 2011 via Bella Union and cracked the Billboard 200. Davidson then parted ways with the group, and the following year saw the band provide the soundtrack for the American film Arcadia.

In 2013 they decamped, in true Low Anthem fashion, to an abandoned opera house to begin work on their follow-up to Smart Flesh. With Adams leaving the group in the interim to pursue her own project, Arc Iris, the resulting Eyeland was issued by Washington Square Music in 2016. An ambitious, narrative-driven conceptual piece, it combined folk, psychedelic rock, and experimental elements. While on tour in support of the album, the group had another redefining moment when a van accident resulted in injuries and the destruction of many instruments in tow. Miller, who escaped serious injury, spent the next two weeks using equipment in his bedroom to demo what would become the Low Anthem's fifth studio album. A quieter, more poignant concept album inspired by a Buddhist fable, the final version of The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea was recorded after Prystowsky recovered from injuries. It arrived via Joyful Noise in early 2018. ~ Andrew Leahey & Marcy Donelson

ORIGIN
Providence, RI
FORMED
2006

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