If you tuned in to KEXP’s
coverage of Iceland Airwaves two weeks ago, you probably heard this pure gem of
a band and you might have been as
delighted as I was (though it’s unlikely because my affinity for the acoustic
guitar is pretty intense).
Low Roar is not
the sort of band you stumble upon—they are more the sort you gravitate towards.
Listening to this music isn’t an experience of harsh and sudden discovery, but
instead a pleasant, gradual exposure to a series of affectionately and
intricately crafted songs.
(Download Low Roar’s EP “Hávallagata 30” – which includes “Give
Up” – for free here.)
Karazija’s timbre is a magical fusion of Joe Newman, Sanders Bohlke and fellow Icelander Jónsi’s voices. Karazija is the
creative force behind Low Roar. He composed the eponymous album after moving to
Reykjavík, Iceland and experiencing its remoteness on a personal level.
Karazija for ATP Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Matthew Eisman / WireImage
The stark beauty
of the self-titled is enough to make this music worth your time, but when Logi Guðmundsson, Leifur Björnsson, and Andrew Scheps enter the scene on the second album, 0, an even more spellbinding
The experimental tendencies on 0 make the resounding statement
that while Low Roar can hold your attention with a cohesive musical progression,
they cannot be pigeon-holed. Simple but insightful lyrics like “I’d rather burn
than fight” are common across all of their songs and are one of many aspects of
this band’s stunning, unprecedented artistry.
In an interview with Paste Magazine, Karazija had this to
say about how he would categorize Low Roar’s sound:
run into, they ask, ‘What do you do?’ I don’t know. It just is what it is. I’ve
made a decision since I started in with this project not to force anything,
just to let things kind of be what they want to be…. I don’t think like, ‘Okay,
this has to sound like this’ or ‘This has to sound like that.’ So that’s why I
think I have a hard time describing it. It just, it feels really honest to me.”
Honest never sounded so good.
If you are in need of a relaxing, transporting experience, I
can’t recommend enough that you devote a rainy afternoon to sitting down
and listening to Low Roar’s whole discography from start to finish. But since
most people only have time to sample the myriad artists they hear about, I will alternatively offer a set
of songs that exhibit Low Roar’s versatility:
tracks: “Vampire on my Fridge”, “Breathe In”, “Friends Make Garbage (Good Friends
Take It Out)”, “Easy Way Out”, “Help Me”
Though based in Iceland, Low Roar’s reach extends far beyond their homeland. They’ve gone on world tours with Ásgeir, Hozier and Active Child. In addition to having an official website, the trio has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Facebook, so you basically
have no excuse not to follow their ascent to world (or at least music industry)
This band wants you to know them. Make their wish come true:
gravitate happily towards their enrapturing and ethereal sound.