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Studio Session: Low

Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker — the core duo that makes up Low — celebrate their 20th year as a band in 2013 (they’ve been a couple for even longer). We caught up with the veterans from Duluth, Minnesota during a soundcheck at Mississippi Studios as they talked about that longevity landmark and played songs from their just-released 10th studio album, The Invisible Way.

In many ways, Low’s The Invisible Way is a return to form for the band, a record reminiscent of the subdued burn of their early releases. Sparhawk and Parker, these days along with Steve Garrington, teamed with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on production at his Chicago-based studio, The Loft — an interesting premise, although Parker admits not much changed on the songs in the process from demo to final product.

The result is vintage Low: beautiful, measured, intense. If there’s anything that comes as a surprise, it’s the increased presence of Parker as a lead vocalist. Always a kind of sparingly-used secret weapon over the years, her voice fronts an unprecedented five songs on this collection, which is easily the most subtle of the four records Low has released on Sub Pop since 2005.

Watch and listen to the full opbmusic session.


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