The Low Anthem + Assateague
Spacious indie folk
The Low Anthem
Formed in 2007 by best friends, Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem grew from DIY ethos in the late-aughts to semi-accidental success. Having originally self-released What The Crow Brings and Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, the group signed with Nonesuch, toured the world, and were reluctantly lumped in with the so-called “folk revival”. However, night after night of performing their early material was not ultimately where they wanted to land: “The moment was losing its mystery. We were scared of becoming robots,” said the band after six years of reflection.
They returned to their hometown of Providence, Rhode Island 2012 and instead poured their energy into their local community by restoring a vaudeville-era theatre and building their own recording studio within. The Low Anthem are now into a groove of their own, under their own terms. Their unique blend of organic and electronic sounds shines through on The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea, an album that was triggered when Knox Miller was reading John Cage’s biography Where The Heart Beats, by Kay Larsen, in the aftermath of a horrific tour van accident. Since being met with critical acclaim, the band has adapted the story into a live show which they are now sharing with enamored audiences around the world alongside dear friends, Florence Grace Wallis on violin, and Bryan Minto on guitars.
Named for a barrier island off the coast of Maryland where wild horses have made themselves at home on the beach, Assateague is one of San Francisco’s most beloved bands. They describe their music as “chilled out buddy blues bringing mellow vibes for jittery times.” With a groovy lonesome sound evoking Fairport Convention and other folk-influenced bands of yore, Assateague makes melancholic songs about the sun, the ocean, the wind and grass. Their album Good Morning Blues, which was remastered/reissued in 2015, has been called “stunningly beautiful.”