Low’s Double Positive

Rome is an Audio and Visual Trip

Cover Story Image: Low, “Rome (Always In The Dark)”; Image Above: Low

BY: Andy Shoulders

To call Low’s new album Double Negative weird would be putting it lightly. It would also be doing it a huge disservice.

Founded by married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker in 1993, Low is known for slow tempos and minimalist arrangements, as well as striking harmonies between Sparhawk and Miller. The term “slowcore” is often used to describe the band, but the members (along with bassist Steve Garrington) ultimately disapprove of the term.

Low goes fully experimental on Double Negative, and the sound oddly fits. I don’t know if my ears have been warped by all the techno and experimental music coming out over the years, but the sound on their new single, “Rome (Always in the Dark),” is oddly satisfying. And, dare I say, downright catchy.

Directed by Aaron Anderson and Eric Timothy Carlson, the video for “Rome (Always In The Dark)” takes a collage approach and doesn’t feature the band. It’s abstract in every sense of the word, but notice how the shapes and colors shift right along with the slow, plodding beat of the music. Check it out for yourself; they don’t call it trance-like for nothing.

Low is no stranger to breaking the rules, and that mindset doesn’t change whatsoever on “Rome (Always In The Dark).” For a band that famously used to turn their volume down when audiences would get too loud and disruptive, this new song (and entire new album for that matter) completely flips that script. It acts as a slow, insistent march through an uncertain and uncharted territory, and requests of the listener one simple thing:

“Let’s turn this thing up before they take us out.”