The Low Anthem @ WERS
The Low Anthem is a beautiful band. They file into the studio quietly and play their music sweetly and without any pretense. The four person line-up consists of drums, clarinet, trumpet and guitar. As they ease into their first in-studio song, called Matter of Time, clarinetist Josie Adams’ eyes close, singer Ben Knox clears his throat slightly to perfect his soft, endearing voice, and all of us in-studio are captivated by the gentle, melodic tune that emerges. Adams and Knox, along with Mike Irwin on trumpet and Jeff Prystowsky on drums, play three songs at WERS, two of which are off their new album, Smart Flesh.
Smart Flesh was recorded in Central Falls RI, oddly enough in an abandoned pasta sauce factory. “It sounded huge and had this slow, long reverb that sounded really nice,” said Knox, “and that’s what drew us to it.” Though very reserved and low-key in person, the band also managed to have fun while recording. “We had room to play games. We set up a tennis court, could ride bikes around. We ate a lot of pizza and tried to stay warm.”
In accordance with that slow, echoing sound they like, The Low Anthem plays Yellow By the Sun for their second tune, It is one of the first songs the band ever recorded. They end with a second song off Smart Flesh called Boeing 737.
Tonight, in Somerville, they will play the last stop of the American leg of their tour promoting Smart Flesh which dropped in February, 2011. Before the end of their session, Knox also made sure to mention that they would be playing a set later this afternoon at Occupy Boston in Dewey Square, and urged listeners to come down to check it out because a Woodie Guthrie cover is guaranteed.
Words and Photos by Elana Willinsky