The Low Anthem – Oh my God, Charlie Darwin – album review

I’ve been banging on about how great this album is for a while now and so I thought I ought to do a ‘proper’ review.

Album cover
Album cover

This trio from Rhode Island have produced possibly my album of the year. It is in the vein of the new Americana  music of the ilk of The Dodos, Animal Collective & Bon Iver. What I love about the album is the range of styles.

The record begins with the ethereal ‘Oh my God, Charlie Darwin’ which starts with the beautiful lyrics:

Set the sails I feel the winds a’stirring

Toward the bright horizon set the way

Cast your reckless dreams upon our Mayflower

Haven from the world and her decay

All this sung in an otherworldly falsetto by the lead singer which recalls the Bon Iver For Emma Forever Ago album of last year.

Then come two simple, gentle folk songs that make me feel like I’m on a road trip through a bleak landscape. The road trip then makes a stop at what appears to be a truckers’ bar. Two raucous, sing along songs burst into life, with the falsetto disappearing and the singer becoming a throaty man of the world. Fast paced with plenty of harmonica and a rousing chorus, you can’t help but join in.

The next track feels like the morning after, it’s attendant tracks then move off the road and the gang are now sitting around a campfire.

Following these is my favourite song on the album – Champion Angel (click to play) – an epic song which sounds like Noel Gallagher has joined in on guitar to turn it into a proper terraces anthem.

The album closes with some bluesy, bluegrassy, Sigur Ros-like songs (if you can imagine that!) and brings us back round to getting back into the car, heading for the horizon together.

The perfect road-trip album, soundtrack to the summer, I’ve had it on repeat for a while now and I’m not bored of it yet!

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