The Low Anthem / The Salt Doll Went To Measure the The Depths Of The Sea | CRASH Presents

The Low Anthem / The Salt Doll Went To Measure the The Depths Of The Sea | CRASH Presents

The Low Anthem are a an understated, psych-indie folk band who have released their fifth album; The Salt Doll Went To Measure the The Depths Of The Sea. It begins with ethereal fragility and on first listen there is a sense of breaching into the unknown with the textures that are integrated. It becomes apparent that it’s initially difficult to understand the direction of the record, with its nuanced sounds and curious song names but as you move through, each song flows into one another and the album begins to make sense. The Salt Doll Went To Measure the The Depths Of The Sea is a reflection of nature, the sea, and the music that mirrors that. Cy Twombly by Campfire particularly reflects this almost hypnotic continual and cyclical rhythm with its synthesised beats and calming vocals.

Although starting with just two best friends; Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem is currently a four part collective of multi-instrumentalists. They are a band who explore non-traditional music making methods. Their latest concept album; The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depths Of The Sea combines history, with narrative and music, making it far more powerful when listened to as a whole.

16 days after first reading about the salt doll fable, front man Ben Knox Miller finished writing the album. The old fable depicts the story of a doll fascinated by the ocean, and not truly understanding what it was. So the ocean encouraged the doll to get into the ocean, as then she will better understand. So she puts her toe in, but then loses her toe. This continues with her foot, and leg until she is completely submerged.

Understanding this fable allows you to better understand the album; to fully embrace the music, you need to completely lose yourself in it. It is not an album that can be appreciated or understood through individual tracks. Gondwanaland, a track with a sprightly but grounded rhythm is also the name given to the supercontinent that predates the earth as we understand it. The light piano in this is comically juxtaposed with the spoken lyrics that approach the history of earth and humans.

The Rhode Island born collective are a cluster of different instruments, put together in an unusual but very clever way that makes them far more than just a folk group. Learning that their last tour was cut short after a serious car accident, allows you to understand the more low-key direction their sound has gone, being more restrained, subtly exposing the layers of meaning and emotion. It had been said that their previous album Eyeland was over ambitious and forced the music out of the musicians whereas The Salt Doll Went To Measure the The Depths Of The Sea is a musical response from the band.

The way The Low Anthem produce music communicated a developed understanding that’s not quite in line with most. They view music to be more than just the sounds, but the history and stories that go along with it as well.

The album is out on 23rd of February. Purchase it on The Low Anthem Bandcamp page.

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