Giant step

The Low Anthem sign with Nonesuch Records
By CHRIS CONTI  |  April 15, 2009

NEW LIFE Adams, Miller, and Prystowsky. 

Indie-folk trio the Low Anthem — Jeff Prystowsky, Ben Knox Miller, and Jocie Adams — have signed with Nonesuch Records, which will re-release their highly-acclaimed disc, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, on June 9. Originally issued last September, Charile Darwin, the follow-up to their 2007 debut What the Crow Brings, received rave reviews and heavy support from NPR and BBC Radio. Rolling Stone called the disc "solemnly beautiful" and Mojo magazine labeled the band "truly startling songwriters and instrumentalists." Nonesuch is distributed through Warner Bros.; their current roster includes Joni Mitchell, Allen Toussaint, the Magnetic Fields, Wilco, Randy Newman, and Emmylou Harris, and a number of classical and jazz artists.

It has been a whirlwind few months since the Low Anthem last played a hometown Providence show, a memorably intimate gig at Firehouse 13 in February. The trio played six sets at South By Southwest in Austin and toured with folk troubadour Ray LaMontagne (wrapping up on April 15 in Toronto). They will play Newbury Comics in Boston on Saturday (the 18th) to celebrate Record Store Day and will be appearing with Elvis Perkins In Dreamland and Deer Tick at Lupo's on April 24 ($12 in advance). [Note: Deer Tick got a big boost in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. In "Hot Nights In Austin: SXSW's Breakouts," David Fricke wrote, "This pine-tree-country band came on like hardened pioneers, with cutting twang, bull fiddle and the junior-John Prine growl of John Joseph McCauley III."] In May they will make their debut in France, the UK, and the Nether-lands, then return to the States for the Bonnaroo Festival and a ju-st-added headlining gig at New York City's Bowery Ballroom.

Looking back on a conversation with Miller and Prystowsky in February, they were humbly aware of their promising future since forming at Brown University a few years ago: "Things have started to snowball a bit faster... it's like we reached the critical mass, the scale's tipped, and now things have started to get a bit easier."

On Wednesday morning, we reached Miller in Quebec and he sent us some answers to a few questions.

WHY DID YOU SIGN TO NONESUCH? We signed to Nonesuch because they are excellent and they offered us a fair deal. They plan to sell records profitably, rather than leach via a 360 deal and all the new bullshit that record companies are doing now . . . They sign artists they trust and don't care to meddle unreasonably. Nonesuch are also letting us continue to silkscreen our packages in Providence. Devil's Rainbow will be handling that, and we are thrilled about it.

WILL THE REISSUE HAVE ANYTHING NEW? Funny you should ask. We have had the reissue remastered by the king himself, Bob Ludwig. We just did the session with him in Portland, ME. The man is brilliant and the record came out sounding a thousand times warmer. Really sonically beautiful. He has the world's finest analog rigs, not to mention an amazing sensitivity to nuance — he's dialed in to something the rest of us can only glimpse. Amazing session. He's put new life into the thing.

HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE LUPO'S SHOW WITH ELVIS PERKINS AND DEER TICK? Honored to be doing Lupo's with those fine gents. Not a bad local music night! Can't wait.

Related: Bringing it all back home, Review: CasUno's sharp Sore Thumb; plus a New Low Anthem CD!, Freaky Friday, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, The Magnetic Fields, Elvis Perkins,  More more >
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