About The Low Anthem
Indie-Americana trio The Low Anthem released its 2nd full length record, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin on 2 September to critical acclaim. The Band will perform live at Whelans on 8 February.
Independently released, the record is co-produced by The Low Anthem and Jesse Lauter. Recording was done in January of 2008 in the bleak, off-season quiet of Block Island, RI. Lauter assembled a pro-quality portable recording rig which was transported by ferry out to the island and assembled in an empty summer cabin. The crackling of the woodstove and the rushing of sea breezes against the panes were the only foreign sounds the band heard. The setting was suited to the body of work.
Asked to explain his fixation on Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest, principle songwriter Ben Knox Miller says, "Animals crushing animals. Civilizations crushing civilizations. Millions of years of the powerful crushing the weak, and our civilization and our morals are the survivors. What does that say about us? This record's about you and me, sitting on top of the foodchain with too much time to think - too much time to write songs." Miller's batch of songs live in the tension between a post-Darwinian nihilism and man's instinctive longing for community; the writing is rich with tangled religious and political allusions.
Musically, the album is a blend of junkyard rock 'n roll and stark folk ballads. At their wildest, songs approach the rough edged soul of Tom Waits but ultimately the record maintains a degree of classical elegance. Band members play 27 different instruments on the record including zither, pump organ, Tibetan singing bowl and an oil drum. The Low Anthem pays homage to two heros with the record's only cover, a breakneck one-take rendition of "Home I'll Never Be" - words by Jack Kerouac, music by Waits.