Summer Nostos FestivalSummer Nostos Festival



Contemporary Music

June 27, 2019, 22.00, Great Lawn


After 25 years in music, Minnesota band Low is an indie rock institution worldwide. Poster children for slow tempo rock, Low was founded by Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, who have known each other since they were nine years old, are married to each other, and are parents to two teenagers. The band is completed by Steve Garrington.

Their dominant feature, and what critics find so exciting, is the fact that their sound is constantly evolving. They are continually experimenting and consciously developing their sound, a sound that explores minimalism and highlights the harmony of their voices. Their intense spirituality is a prime source of inspiration, but it does not have absolute control over their compositions. The result is that they are constantly creating albums that stand out for their musical depth as well as for the esoteric quality of their lyrics, as The Guardian has noted.

Low will be coming to the Summer Nostos Festival having completed their world tour and just a few months following the release of their twelfth album, Double Negative. According to the critics, this is the best album of their career (The Guardian gave it five stars) and perfectly expresses the restlessness and disorientation prevailing in the U.S. at the moment, since the songs were written and recorded shortly before and immediately after the 2016 presidential election. The band says that Double Negative has elements of despair because “our reaction to a more chaotic world is to fight back with something more chaotic.”

During a quarter-century career with thousands of live shows and 12 albums, it’s interesting that their most mainstream moment, the one that kept them alive professionally, was when they recorded the Just Like Christmas album in 1999. It was then that Gap asked to use their version of The Little Drummer Boy for a TV ad. It immediately became one of the most recognizable, emblematic Christmas songs not only in the U.S. but globally, and introduced Low to the general public. It was the first time an indie rock song was used in a commercial.

Sparhawk and Parker have admitted that thanks to this contract they were able to start a family and keep the band going. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” says Parker. Spirituality and faith are all-important in the pair’s life and of course influence the lyrics they write. Another important moment in their career was in 2010, when Robert Plant included in his Band of Joy album versions of the songs Monkey and Silver Rider from Low’s The Great Destroyer album.