Artist Profile: Low Roar reaches Great Heights

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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.)

Front-man Ryan
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. 

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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
tapestry emerges. 

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: 

“…anybody I
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:

Most unique
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)
domination.

This band wants you to know them. Make their wish come true:
gravitate happily towards their enrapturing and ethereal sound.

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DJ M-Schizzle



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Single Review: Cage the Elephant- Mess Around

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Cage the Elephant’s junior album, Melophobia (2013), pushed the already popular band further into the spotlight. This effort saw the band exploring their new, more unique sound; horns, strong bass and drumming, and addictive guitar riffs were part of this new approach. These guys’ next album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, drops December 18th this year, and we already have our first taste of what it’ll be like.


“Mess Around” is the second track off of Tell Me I’m Pretty. Fitting for the title of the album, frontman Matt Shultz sings about a woman who uses her charm to toy with men. An overly-dramatic, eerie whistle in the background compliments the warning to stay away from her–she’s bad news and you should be scared.

The beat and fuzzy guitars make this single sound more like a surf rock groove than layered, rainy weather record, Melophobia. Bass is more often relegated to the background, it’s upbeat, and the hook is easy to sing along to. It still sounds like Cage the Elephant, but “Mess Around” doesn’t take itself very seriously and is a lot less dreary than usual.

Are sunnier days ahead for Cage the Elephant? It’s unclear. According to an interview, “Mess Around” barely made it onto Tell Me I’m Pretty. That means it probably isn’t representative of the album as a whole. 

And I hope it isn’t. This single is catchy, but it’s not much of a step forward. The previous record saw a clear attempt from Cage the Elephant to redefine their sound, and resulted in an exciting new take on alternative rock. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and put out a great album that’s not gloomy; either way, I’m hoping the rest of Tell Me I’m Pretty is a fresh interpretation of their style established on Melophobia. In the meantime, I’d suggest we turn up the volume and sing along!

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Claire Marvet



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!