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I heard this song when I was young


From listening to the Dropkick Murphys on Tuesday, things took a turn for the quieter this morning as I listened to Low’s Trust for the first time in a long while. I’ve been slightly putting off listening to this record for complex, associative reasons, but I was glad to walk across a hazy Noel Park this morning to the desert strains of the awesomely powerful ‘(That’s How You Sing) Amazing Grace’. One of the curses of a lack of home internet connection is that I’m unable to post you a track, so you’ll have to go exploring – you’re bound to find it somewhere.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a live copy of the first time I heard it, from the band’s triumphant Don’t Look Back show at Koko – the song opened the encore after a full rendition of their definitive (in my opinion) masterpiece, Things We Lost In The Fire. What power! For a song that’s essentially Paris, Texas with harmonies, the dusty, sparse guitar, and oh! that elegant paucity of sound that characterises the band’s best work, these combine to make it one amazing opening track.

The associative quality of the record got me thinking. As I recall, I’ve only ever once bought an album to impress a lady, back in college. I documented the ordeal here, it really doesn’t warrant further dredging. Chances are this is my innate unwillingness to talk to women that means I avoid finding out what they like, or (as I like to imagine) I have more dignity than to sink to buying something I don’t think I’ll like. Probably the first. Not that it’s caused me any major problems in life thus far, and although I’ll probably never have a career as a semi-autobiographical, confessional novellist, I’ll happily pass that up in favour of my hard-earned journalistic integrity. Ahem.

And so I return to Low. Associations pass, integrity fails, but some Minnesotans transcend all this and continue to release breathtaking visions of apocalyptic sadness and emptiness. And thank goodness for that.


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