The Low Anthem
SONG THAT GOT US: “Charlie Darwin”
ON THE TUBES: MySpace, Web site
RECORD LABEL: Nonesuch
WHY THEM? Months before Nonesuch snatched them up to reissue Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, we were using this Providence trio’s self-released second album (and modest masterpiece) as the backdrop to very serious cups of bourbon-spiked cocoa all through the winter. Some have griped that the record’s even split between gritty Waitsian drinking songs and feather-light falsetto chamber folk is too vast an aesthetic chasm — but every tune they touch carries the same intelligent elegance, and the two sides of the same nickel never sounded so rich.
BONUS BIT! For the album, Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky refurbished a WWI pump organ that had been battle-tested when chaplains dragged it out into the action. The two met at Brown, where both played middle infield in a Providence wood-bat baseball league and DJ’d an overnight jazz show at the college radio station.