Its Hard to Find a Friend – Review

Here to Stay

Every weekend I try to find time to make my weekly delve into the stack of promo material I have received that week via email, snail mail, smoke signal, or teleportation. It’s a long and arduous road at times, so when a pleasant surprise emerges from the noise it’s always a nice feeling. One such surprise met me tonight as I was making the rounds.

The Record Low are a band from Chicago, IL. Who have recently released a record called Here To Stay, that is well worth your attention. I’m a big fan of albums that are quality on all fronts (note to bands who submit music: an aesthetically pleasing package is every bit as effective in the first impressions as anything I can think of), and Here to Stay is a very pretty piece of purchasable music.

The songs are an interesting mix of influences, hard to pinpoint a solid list of RIYL’s, but I would throw out a few names that wouldn’t make sense together if I were asked. These Girls reminds me a bit of Belle & Sebastian with it’s meandering drum beat, steady wurlitzer, and poignant background chirps…and then a harmonica comes in. Southern State is a pleasing bit of Americana, a strong vocal and narrative of lost luck move gracefully over a capo’d minor key guitar line, shakers move in the background nearly unnoticed, and a steady foundation of “oooh’s” are very well layered.

The direction is even more skewed when tracks like The Bullet and the Arrow and The Bottom, owe more to fuzz-laced basement rock then than anyone previously mentioned. With most bands this would be bad thing, making a record feel like a poorly-made mixtape, but a strong and recognizable thread in the vocal and songwriting department save it from such fate. What I’m saying is: there’s a bit for everyone, but you won’t forget who you’re listening to.


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