This Just In: Last Things Last

*SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION ALERT!*
This week I’m excited to share a story that spans 8 years, 7 countries, 5 releases, 2 record labels and 1 marionette. But it’s actually kind of a long story, so I’ll cut to the chase… The final record by UK band Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love (aptly named Last) is out now, and it has a history rooted in Sweat. See, I’ve been putting out Low Low’s releases since 2007 through my label, Other Electricities. “Wow – that’s a long time and I’ve never heard of them!” you say. Yeah, you and most of the world. But I fell in love with their sound the moment I first heard them on Myspace in ’06 (haha), and wanted to to get their music out there.

A few summers back, Sweat had an intern from the UK, Jamie, who also happened to have a tiny label, Audio Antihero, that released a bunch of other stuff no one’s ever heard of. For some reason I showed him Low Low’s music and he actually liked it. We kept in touch through the years and when Low Low sent me the final mixes of what would be their final album, I approached Jamie about co-releasing it with me. “Let’s go broke together!” I said. Turns out Jamie is way better at promotion than he lead on, and for the first time, tons of people are actually listening to Low Low’s music. Too bad they’re not even a band anymore. For a non-band though, they really did all they could to go out with a bang, including creating an amazing music video starring a busking marionette. Anyway, if you’re into The Microphones, Sparklehorse or other assorted dirstorto-lo-fi sad bastard stuff, you might like Low Low. Check out the “Burrow” video and more info about the album below, and don’t forget the weekly in-stock list below that!

Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love – Last LP:
Watch/listen: “Burrow”
Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love have been making music from just outside the Peak District since 2004. They’ve released three albums and, most recently, 2011’s Ghost E.P. on Miami’s Other Electricities. What started as two vocal harmonies and an acoustic guitar swelled to six band members around the time of 2009’s Feels, Feathers, Bog & Bees, then imploded back in on itself, leaving brothers Kelly and Ellis Dyson to see out most of these final recordings by themselves.

Last is Low Low’s fourth and final album. When the recording sessions finished, Kelly moved to London and then onto Europe. Since the day they turned the studio lights off on their way out, the tape machines, mixing desk, amplifiers and instruments have sat gathering dust. Recording was followed by a long stretch of mixing and mastering the album over and over between day jobs. Fast forward to today, and Kelly (vocals, guitars, etc.) and Ellis (drums, guitars, studio engineering, etc.) are in the strange position of releasing an album that is now just a memory.

On Last, Kelly and Ellis purposefully set out to redress what they felt was an imbalance in the channeling of their influences. Whatever lack of confidence had forced them to tend towards recording clarity over low-fi on all of Low Low’s previous albums, this time there was no doubt from the offset – Last would be resolutely low-fi. Whereas most of the songs here were recorded on 1/2 inch tape, a suite of tracks including “Guard,” “Bedroom Window” and “A World In Ruin” were put down on C90 cassette with the optional Dolby noise reduction firmly set to OFF, bestowing these tracks with a fuzzy character, excessive tape hiss and over-compression. The brothers really began to experiment with not just what they recorded, but also how they recorded. Having built and (attempted to) soundproof a small home studio, gone were the constraints of bedroom recording.

Musically, Last is less eclectic than Low Low’s previous couple of albums, but with purpose. The constricting of the band down to two members, the fixed studio and recording on tape all helped to create a cohesive thread. Low Low don’t veer far from their habits: acoustic and electric guitars, drum kit, the occasional banjo or piano. But here, on Last, the studio is an instrument itself. On “Dandelions,” a gentle folk song is buried under the white noise and tape hiss that swallowed the closing of the previous song. On “What You Wanted Most,” a shimmering Glockenspiel riff is played through a distorted amplifier. In “Bedroom Window,” the cassette tape is overloaded with drums before a swirling crescendo of amp noise engulfs everything and just as quickly dissipates. The collection is raw and sonically ragged but nothing is lost to the cacophony.

The themes on Last reflect the happenings in Kelly’s life during recording and the finality of the sessions. The songs take us through the end of a relationship, new love, goodbyes, migration and movement. Layered on top of these themes is the realisation, during writing, that these were to be Low Low’s final songs – as on the track “A World in Ruin,” on which Kelly refers to artwork for Low Low’s second album, Ends of June“Words hanging on telegraph wires, and a long list of failures.” – a bittersweet farewell, looking back on the good and the bad that life in a band brings.  It’s the album’s title track and closer though which offers “one last crash of all the cymbals”  bringing both the album and the band their conclusion:

“I’ve got nothing left to say without sending myself off to sleep,
And it doesn’t really feel all as bad as I thought it would…”

last-cover-500-1

Sounds that last… new releases, reissues and restocks
A Place To Bury Strangers – Transfixiation LP*, CD*
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders LP; People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths Of Rhythm 2LP
Alan Watts – This Is It LP*
Amen Dunes – Love LP
Apollo Brown – Thirty Eight LP + 7″
Arca – Xen LP
Aretha Franklin – Aretha LP
Ariel Pink – pom pom CD
Atmosphere – Overcast 12″; When Life Gives You Lemons LP
Atoms For Peace – AMOK 2LP
Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress 2LP; The BBC Sessions 2LP; The Life Pursuit 2LP; Write About Love LP
Benjamin Booker – S/T LP
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – Out Of Season LP
Billie Holiday – All Or Nothing At All LP; Lady In Satin LP
Black Milk & Danny Brown – Black & Brown LP
Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night CD
Bon Iver – Blood Bank 12″; For Emma, Forever Ago LP; S/T LP
Bunny Lion – Red LP
Can – Monster Movie LP; Soundtracks LP
Cat Power – Moon Pix LP; Sun 2LP; The Covers Record LP
Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll LP; Heaven Or Las Vegas LP; Stars And Topsoil 2LP
Cold Cave – Love Comes Close LP
Com Truise – Galactic Melt 2LP; In Decay 3LP; Wave 1 12″
D’Angelo – Black Messiah CD
Darkside – Psychic 2LP
David Bowie – Space Oddity LP
David Lynch – Big Dream 2LP+7″
Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 2LP
Depeche Mode – Ultra LP
Dinosaur Jr. – Dinosaur LP
Discovery – Discovery LP
Dr. Dre – The Chronic 2LP
Ed Sheeran – X 2LP
Entombed – Uprising 2LP*
Eric Chenaux – Skullsplitter LP*
Ex Hex – Rips LP
Explosions In The Sky – The Earth Is Not… LP
Flaming Lips – Soft Bulletin 2LP; Yoshimi LP
Foxygen – Take The Kids Off Broadway LP
The Gaslamp Killer – Breakthrough 2×10″*
Germs – (GI) LP
Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here LP
Gotan Project – La Revancha Del Tango 2LP
Grooms – Comb The Feelings Through Your Hair LP*
Hailu Mergia & The Walias – Tche Belew LP
Ibeyi – S/T LP*, CD*
Imagine Dragons – Smoke & Mirrors 2LP, CD
Interpol – Antics LP; El Pintor CD
J Dilla – Donuts 2LP
Jaco Pastorius – S/T LP
Jeff Buckley – Grace LP
Joao Gilberto – The Warm World Of Joao Gilberto LP
John Coltrane – Coltrane Plays The Blues LP; Giant Steps LP
Johnny Cash – Live From Austin TX LP; Ride This Train LP; The Fabulous Johnny Cash LP
Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges & Claws LP*, CD*
King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon 2LP
Klaus Layer – Restless Adventures LP
The Knife – Silent Shout 2LP
Kool Keith – Acura 7″*; Demolition Crash CS*
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo LP; Wakin On A Pretty Daze 2LP
Lapsley – Understudy EP 12″*
LCD Soundsystem – London Sessions 2LP
Lee Perry & The Upsetters – Return Of The Super Ape LP
Little Richard – S/T LP
Mac Demarco – Rock & Roll Night Club EP 12″
Madvillian – Madvillainy 2LP
Make-Up – Sound Verite LP
Manu Chao – Clandestino 2LP+CD; Proxima Estacion Esperanza 2LP+CD
Marcus Marr – Brown Sauce 12″
MF Doom – Mm… Food 2LP; Special Herbs Vol. 9 & 10 2LP+7″*
Michael Jackson – Off The Wall LP
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew Live 2LP; Plays For Lovers LP; Plays Jazz Classics LP
Mndsgn – Yawn Zen LP
Monophonics – Promises 7″*
Morrissey – Vauxhall And I LP
Mourn – S/T LP
The National – Trouble Will Find Me 2LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Let Love In LP; Tender Prey LP
Nina Simone – At The Village Gate LP
Ninos Du Brasil – Aromobates NDB 12″
One Sixth – Cosmetic Love 7″*
Otis Redding – Otis Blue LP
Outkast – Aquemini 3LP; Stankonia 2LP
Pavement – Crooked Rain Crooked Rain LP; Slanted & Enchanted LP
Perfume Genius – Too Bright LP
Peter King – African Dialects LP
Pharmakon – Beastial Burden LP
Phoenix – Alphabetical LP; It’s Never Been Like That LP; United LP
Phosphorescent – Live At The Music Hall 3LP
Pixies – Bossanova LP; Come On Pilgrim LP
Pops Staples – Don’t Lose This LP*
Powell – Sylvester Stallone EP 12″
Pulp – Different Class LP
Quincy Jones – Big Band Bossa Nova LP
Ratatat – Classics LP; LP3 LP; S/T LP
Ray Charles – Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music LP; What’d I Say LP
S. Carey – Supermoon EP 12″*
Sade – Diamond Life LP;  Love Deluxe LP; Lovers Rock LP
SBTRKT – SBTRKT LP; Wonder Where We Land LP
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There LP
Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun LP+CD; Valtari 2LP
Silver Mt. Zion – This Is Our Punk Rock 2LP
Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 1 2LP+7″*; Fantastic Vol. 2 2LP+7″*
Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow LP; Meat Is Murder LP
Sufjan Stevens – Enjoy Your Rabbit 2LP
Sun Ra – Cosmos LP; Jazz In Silhouette LP
Tame Impala – Live Versions LP
The Zombies – Odyssey & Oracle LP
Tim Buckley – Starsailor LP
Tricky – Maxinquaye LP
Various – Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Label 2LP; Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label CD; Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City CD
Various – Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 1 2LP; Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 2 2LP
Various – OneDerful! Collection: MarVLus Records 2LP*
Various – Young Turks 2014 LP*
Viet Cong – S/T LP
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes LP
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream 2LP
Wild Nothing – Nocturne LP
xx – Coexist LP; xx LP
Zola Jesus – Conatus LP