Boomkat Product Review:
'Songs for a Dead Pilot' was Duluth slowcore act Low's first release for the Kranky label and on its release in 1997 showed a quite dramatic move towards more minimal compositions after their extremely well-received 'The Curtain Hits the Cast'.
We're all big Low fans here, but there really is something quite ineffably magical about the EPs opening track 'Will the Night' which takes Mimi Parker's signature vocals and buries them amongst a sea of noise and fuzz. It's almost like you're hearing Low's music through thirty feet of seawater or from the other side of a field, but this is exactly what makes the track a perfect introduction before launching into the beauty of 'Condescend'. At the time the release was criticised for its more stripped down take on the band's sound, but this was an indicator of how Low would develop and in my opinion showed a confidence in recording which still stands up now.
Just listen to the album's 13 minute centrepiece 'Born by the Wires' and you realise that this has much more in common with the experimental leanings on their later work, and the more they strip away the more they expose their songs to the kind of pain and emotion we all know is buried inside. An essential release from one of the finest rock bands around. if you can call them rock, that is. Huge recommendation.