April 4, 2017

Low - I Could Live In Hope (1994)


A slowcore classic and my favorite from the genre. I'm not really into this style, but I Could Live In Hope is quickly rising to be one of my favorite rock albums ever. As you'd expect, the music rides on simplicity--a drums/guitar/bass trio and abstract/lonely lyrics. The doubled up male-female vocals are probably the most iconic feature here. I think this element really deepens the mood of the minimal instrumentation--similar to Mazzy Star, but with more creative song writing and a more gripping atmosphere. Everything is given reverb to create a somber, swirling universe of loneliness. Depending on your outlook, the lyrics are either personal or nonsensical, but either way I think they only contribute to the greater sadness of the album; although I don't find myself searching for any particular meaning in the words. The production qualities are consistent on each song and this makes the album feel like one seamless unit. I guess most slowcore classics have strength in that quality, but it's super nice here. It's not easy to create such a powerful aesthetic with so much nothingness, but Low is one of the best ever to do that with their first album.

Sample

I Could Live In Hope