A few years ago a friend and I drove all night to visit some friends in a small college town in South Eastern Idaho. We arrived around 5 in the morning before the sleepy town had awoken. Neither of us could sleep and nothing was open so we decided to drive around the sprawling fields of freshly plowed farmland. As we drove the sun rose behind us and began to burn off some of the fog still clinging to the ground. The whole scene was otherworldly. We crested a hill and then we saw it, standing in the middle of the road looking straight at us was a full grown male moose. As we drove up beside it, it began to trot and then gallop beside our car, we matched it’s pace for awhile and then drove behind it for about a mile before it turned and lost us through the fields. Needless to say that was one of the most singular experiences of my life, being in the presence of that animal was humbling, that thing was so massive. I wish I was listening to Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love during that experience. There is something about this album that is seeped in an otherworldly quality that is as massive as it is organic. Were were you 3 years ago?
I am going to, for the sake of brevity, refer to Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love as Lx9. That is the last time I am writing that freaking name. Lx9 are an ever evolving folk outfit from across the pond, who seem to have experimental folk-rock down pat. The opener “Document 19” opens with a repeating, minimal guitar and violin line that opens up gradually until the sound swallows you whole. Is that tremolo picking electric guitar in a folk song? Yes it is, and it just owned you. Feels, Feathers, Bog and Bees is full of such surprises. Where other bands of the same ilk would be content with existing as a sepia tinted novelty throwback to a nostalgic past that never really existed, Lx9 aren’t afraid to be as expansive and experimental as they are reverential. Their third album has something a lot of folk bands don’t have, bite, and by bite I mean an edge to them. They aren’t afraid to throw in some loving distortion over their beautiful vocal harmonies and mix power chords with intricately picked guitars. The album ebbs music box frailty and flows crescendo drumming. Feels, Feathers, Bog and Bees recalls a time when an indie rock band that wasn’t exactly heavy and wasn’t exactly soft inhabited a mysterious space that was utterly unclassifiable. Like the Red Stars Theory, I wouldn’t call Lx9 folk, I would just call them awesome. I thank Lx9 for doing this, I don’t feel like I have to listen to a Sunn0))) album after I play this because I feel bleached white from a lack of danger and experimentation. This embrace of the rock side of folk-rock has been a welcome addition in an age full of tuxedo-vested, mustachioed, crooners who seem content to follow Fleet Foxes in a pied piper line into the lands of musical irrelevancy and VH1’s “I love 2008”. Kudos to Lx9 for putting out a beautiful record, full of mystery and wonder, but who don’t forget that if you have beards, you should sound like a rock band.