PopMatters Editor & Publisher
Now for the chill-out, which you’re going to need after Melt-Banana. Low’s modus operandi is something akin to ambient dream pop or “slo-core.” With a refined and minimalist musical approach that treats each note as an essential element, the tracks on Secret Name possess a deliberate, composed quality that is a refreshing counterpoint to the much of the mindless strumming of countless alternative bands. The haunting drone and the seeming simplicity of each song gradually give way to a feeling that there is always more going on in the music than is readily apparent. It makes for great repeated listenings.
England’s The Starseeds are another band steeped in musical minimalism, but they come from the electronic arena, as opposed to guitar pop. Sporting a sound vaguely reminiscent of Dubstar minus the dance elements, Parallel Life is the kind of record you can only listen to at night, and preferably by candlelight past midnight.
// Notes from the Road
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