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Ones and Sixes *
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Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixers: Huntley Miller; BJ Burton.
  • Photographer: Alan Sparhawk.
  • If the relative warmth and hopefulness of 2011's C'mon and 2013's The Invisible Way had you wondering if Low were starting to get happy on us after all these years, don't fret -- 2015's Ones and Sixes shows Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have not lost touch with their somber slowcore roots. While Low's two previous albums boasted production and instrumental accompaniment that brought out an emotional generosity that was a real change from the cool isolation of their best-known work, for Ones and Sixes the group and producer BJ Burton have opted for a stark and chilly sound, dominated by electronic pulsebeats and waves of polished noise that give the songs a spare, alien backdrop. One of the greatest strengths of Low's work for Sub Pop has been the beauty of Sparhawk and Parker's vocals, with their harmonies sounding even stronger and more effective with the passage of time, and that's just as true on Ones and Sixes, as the humanity of their voices gives this music a hint of body heat and warm breath in spite of the brushed aluminum sound of much of the album. And though the electronics often dominate, the group's guitars and keyboards are still a key part of the arrangements. Ones and Sixes is a brave effort that stands apart from much of Low's work, putting the dour beauty of their music into a new context. ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[O]n the gentle, pained duet 'Lies,' Low remind us they're still masters of doing a lot with a little."

Spin - "'Lies' features perhaps the most complex architecture of the bunch, opening with a familial backstory tracing back thirty years and somewhat knocking off aphorisms like lazy afternoon fly balls."

Mojo (Publisher) - "Low have made one of the most impressive albums of their career."

NME (Magazine) - "An unassuming highlight arrives mid-album: 'What Part Of Me', in which Sparhawk pleads for clemency with an unnamed adversary....It maintains Low's status as a reliably moving creative partnership."

Clash (Magazine) - "[T]he Minnesotan trio have crafted an eleventh album that employs new textures around those magnificent vocals and deviates from a path upon which they seemed to have settled..."
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