Low's classic sound, long ago reductively but indelibly tagged as "slowcore," ain't broke. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who follows an impressive list of predecessors into the producer's chair on Low's latest album, The Invisible Way (due out March 19 on Sub Pop), has decided appropriately, then, not to fix it too much.
Sure, 2011's C'mon might've ventured ever so slightly into more pop-friendly surfaces courtesy of co-producer Matt Beckley, whose CV included Ke$ha and Katy Perry. But the dusky goth-folk balladry of "Plastic Cup," the first official preview from Low's forthcoming follow-up, could almost be drawn from any point in the minimalist Minnesota outfit's impressive discography.
Still, there's a rootsiness to the guitar strums, a hearty firmness to the piano chords, and a reverberant boom to the drumming that it's easy to imagine backing Jeff Tweedy's lonesome twang rather than Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's dolefully expressive harmonies.
Then again: "Maybe you should go out and write your own damn song / And move on," Sparhawk and Parker conclude. Point taken. Wasn't it gorgeously made, though?