A friend once told me that the silences within a piece of music are just as important as the notes themselves, but it wasn’t until I listened to Low Duo’s new 2012 release The EP Of Truth And Regret that I think I have finally understood what he meant. As the name suggests the band comprises of two able musicians, Sheffield brothers Adam and Leigh Greenwood who share both instrumental and vocal duties respectively that form to create a pleasingly melancholic ambiance.
Vocally the sound is most likened to the style of Thom Yorke especially on tracks ‘In Our Little House’ and ‘Waltz With Her’. The listener is taken on a sombre journey fronted by virtuoso vocals that shift and slide in a meandering, almost dreamlike state that float delicately above the subtle guitar accompaniment. The themes within the lyrics themselves are quite dark in some places, for example the song ‘Ambulance’ describes a horrific car crash from the point of view of a distressed paramedic who is unable to forget about “the girl I couldn’t save” and the “blood on her neck”. This sorrowful and depressing scene is complemented perfectly with sparse and sustained open chords. Light percussion resonates from the guitar’s body accompanying the playing that slowly builds with an emotional intensity as the lyrical narrative unfolds.
The intricate guitar fingerpicking of ‘Sleep Alone’ makes this the stand out track on the EP, reminiscent in Instrumentation style of Bon Iver and other acoustic folk favourites such as James Vincent McMorrow. However, the dominant bass driven groove of ‘Secret Matters’ doesn’t quite hit the mark in contrast to the songs preceding it, and is arguably the weakest recording in this collection.
Low Duo’s new EP provides a personal and touchingly intimate listening experience, with a unique minimalist style somewhere between Radiohead and the xx. In an era of monotonous auto-tuned vocals and expansive repetitious synth drenched chart toppers, this thought provoking acoustic record has been a refreshing change.
Released on 6th February 2012