The eminent classical avant garde composer John Cage visited the music college I attended in my youth. Little did he expect, I’m sure, after a detailed explanation of his chance music and various prepared piano experiments to be asked questions which included ‘Do you like fish and chips?’ and ‘Do you want to come with us for a pint?’ in response (he said yes actually, but his agent wouldn’t let him). Nor, I would guess would he have expected to influence The Low Anthem, with their new record ‘The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depth of the Sea’, out on February 23rd via Joyful Noise. But he has.
It came as part of a period of recovery for the band “One second you’re dozing off in the passenger seat on the way to a gig, and the next, there’s fire and hell flames and black smoke and your face is bleeding and you can’t see, and you can’t process information, and you think it’s all over.” Jeff Prystowsky is describing one of the scariest moments in his life, as The Low Anthem’s tour van crashed and subsequently wiped out Prystowsky for several weeks, as well as wrecking loads of their gear and instruments in the process.
The result is a beautiful, largely acoustic record – though peppered with subtle yet immersive electronics and humming ambience, of twelve tracks that barely stretch past the two-minute mark. Reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens and Lambchop, it’s a rich and worthwhile record, full of space, delicacy and beauty. Hardly fish and chips and a pint material.
To accompany the announcement, the band have revealed an accompanying video trailer. Check it out, here