Classic Album Review :: Low — Things We Lost In The Fire

I usually start taking time off after my birthday until the new year. It gives me time to write the novel I’m working on, and catch up on general medical shit. However, I found myself thinking about how NO ONE knows this album and that is a fucking shame. Especially when everything feels so bleek right now.

Things We Lost In The Fire is melancholy: the album. Not in that “15 and deep” kind of way, more in that “I don’t have the energy to do anything today”, and that is a perfect way to define right now. Hell, the lyrics are not even to dower, and the music is the furthest thing from crushing. It’s just so slow, so delicate, and perfectly mixed.

I came across this album by complete mistake forever ago. I thought that it had a beautiful, yet very minimalist, design. I was a fan of the record label (Kranky) and I was familiar with other acts produced by Steve Albini. It was the perfect storm, and I will not say the rest of the discography from this band is disappointing, but they have never lived up to this release.

Defined as “slow core”, this album boasts a very minimalist soundscape. The instrumentation uses very few instruments all being sustained with to the limits of how there sound will resonate. Parts (track 3, Dinosaur Act, song below) remind me a little bit of Matthew Good Band Beautiful Midnight era, mixed with Wintersleep’s Untitled. The lyrics feel like just an added flourish instead of a focus.

That is not to say the lyrics are throw-away. Kind of the opposite: the poetry being displayed is as powerful as the interact play of noises being performed by the instruments. My point is more that they are never overpowering the other sounds, more complementing them.

Seriously, if you are reading while drinking a warm beverage of choice, watching the weather outside, or dwelling how that person you fancy doesn’t fancy you back: this album is perfect. It also works while reflecting on how invisible you are.

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