Low: A Sweetly Chiming Charmer

Low fills every second of "Try to Sleep" with sound, but each note still feels pristine and perfect. i i

Low fills every second of "Try to Sleep" with sound, but each note still feels pristine and perfect. Sara Kiesling/Courtesy of Sub Pop Records hide caption

itoggle caption Sara Kiesling/Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
Low fills every second of "Try to Sleep" with sound, but each note still feels pristine and perfect.

Low fills every second of "Try to Sleep" with sound, but each note still feels pristine and perfect.

Sara Kiesling/Courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Wednesday's Pick

Song: "Try to Sleep"

Artist: Low

CD: C'mon

Genre: Pop

Low specializes in glacially paced simplicity and the silence that hangs in the air between notes. But the Duluth, Minn., trio has found plenty of ways to innovate and stretch its boundaries: Its sound has gotten noisier, darker and more complex, while singer-guitarist Alan Sparhawk has even developed a rock 'n' roll alter ego in Retribution Gospel Choir. So it's nice to hear Low finding a sweet spot on the forthcoming C'mon: Shedding the dissonance of 2007's Drums and Guns, the new album branches out in other directions, perfecting the sweetly ringing pop sound that makes "Try to Sleep" such a gorgeous charmer.

Without shedding its gift for vocal phrasing that's both concise and creepy — "Don't look at the camera / Try to sleep" — Low gives "Try to Sleep" an arrangement that feels positively uplifting at times. From the gently chiming instrumentation to the familiar vocal interplay between Sparhawk and singer-drummer Mimi Parker, every piece locks into its right place in the song, which feels positively propulsive by Low's standards. The band may fill every second of "Try to Sleep" with sound, but each note still feels pristine and perfect.

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