Thursday, September 21, 2017

Certain Songs #995: Low – “California” | Medialoper

Album: The Great Destroyer
Year: 2005

I’m going to be honest: if Low has made a great song between 1994’s I Could Live in Hope and 2005’s The Great Destroyer, I haven’t heard it.

And I’m not being snarky: outside of Long Division, which I’ve just added to my current mix and haven’t remotely processed, I just haven’t heard any of their records in that period. That said, The Great Destroyer was the first Low album I ever heard, and I haven’t missed one since.

I don’t remember why I started with The Great Destroyer, but I do know that there was a fair amount of critical buzz around it, maybe because it was their first album for Sub Pop or maybe because it was their first album where they added some noise to their sound. (Which, remember, I can’t really verify).

But what I do know for sure is that I’m always going to love a song like “California,” which opens with big fuzzy classic indie-pop guitar riff from Alan Sparhawk, and has a universal chorus like this one:

Though it breaks your heart
You had to sell the farm
Back to California where it’s warm
It’s warm
It’s warm

That chorus is accompanied by slowly building drums from Mimi Parker, and exquisite harmonies from Sparkhawk and Parker, especially at the end, when the whole song shuts down for a few seconds before they bring it back with their vocals.

And of course, moving from Minnesota, where it’s often too cold to snow, to the warm embrace of my beloved California is exactly the kind of subject for a song that I fully endorse.


“California” Official Video (poor sound)

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