Mon 21 Sep 2015 to Sun 27 Sep 2015

by Low

Low Ones & Sixes (PBS feature record)

For more than 20 years Minnesota’s Low have been making tightly-crafted, downtempo indie music based largely around the hushed vocals of Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk. The key point of difference with Low, when compared with many of the shoegaze bands that have come and gone through this period, is that the trio has always had the power to transcend with moments of breathtaking power, often driven dramatically by Sparhawk’s cutting guitar playing.

On their 11th album Ones and Sixes Low further enhance the drama of their music with some epic moments of audio production, setting the mellifluous and intimate vocals of Parker and Sparhawk against massive sub-frequencies or the sparse analogue drum-machine that opens the track ‘Congregation’. Low are a band that clearly understand how to use dynamic range to create music that can be a truly exhilarating experience.

With Ones and Sixes they also demonstrate their ability to construct an album that continually excites and surprises. After the dark grandeur of the album’s opening tracks ‘Gentle’ and ‘No Comprende’ we magically find ourselves in the indie-pop dreamland of ‘No End’ and later ‘What Part of Me’. As with any sunshine however, eventually the darkness must return and the penultimate track ‘Landslide’ firmly kicks the listener in the solar plexus with producer BJ Burton again using studio tools to elevate Parker, Sparhawk and bassist Steve Garrington’s most assertive moments to something that is truly monumental.

Ones and Sixes is without doubt one of the most rewarding listening experiences of this year, and one of the finest recorded documents of Low’s 22-year career.

Owen McKern
Program Manager
PBS 106.7FM

Jemma and the Clifton Hillbillies Self-titled (Featured on The Breakfast Spread)

It's been a long time coming but the debut album from Jemma & The Clifton Hillbillies is a cracker! Jemma Rowlands has been singing and writing songs in her inimitable country fashion for a few years now. In 2013, she released an EP under the band name Jemma & Her Wise Young Ambitious Men. This four-track EP showed promise but with only two originals, I wondered what was to come. However, when the single 'Fightin' Mad' came out earlier this year, I was full of expectation for the debut album. It is such a slow burner of a tune with great lyrics and such honest emotion that was hard to resist. When the album finally came to The Breakfast Spread locker a little while ago, I was hoping so hard that it would be great and it really is. In just under half an hour, all eight songs seamlessly flow right album closer (and personal highlight), 'Running Away From Home'. It's also great to see that the songwriting is shared between a few of the Clifton Hillbillies with Sean McMahon and Ben Mastwyk contributing songs. A great local album.
By Crispi – The Breakfast Spread

This week's Top 10:

Low - Ones & Sixes
Jemma and the Clifton Hillbillies - Self-titled
The Meanies - It's Not Me, It's You
Destruction Unit - Negative Feedback Resistor
Peaches - Rub
Robert Forster - Songs to Play
Chris Russell's Chicken Walk - Drive
Dustin Tebbutt - Home
Jeremy Diffey - inPossibilties: Explorations in Wood & Steel
Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down