The Low Anthem return from an extraordinary five-year journey with EYELAND, an unprecedented collection of multi-dimensional future folk crafted with uncommon vision and emotional depth. The Providence, RI-based band’s fifth full-length recording, EYELAND began as a “vague and rather abstract” short story by co-founder/singer/guitarist Ben Knox Miller, based around the “sonic mythology of a moth’s dreams.” The tall tale became real life as The Low Anthem immersed themselves in the creation of their own Eyeland Studios, developing Providence’s once obsolete Columbus Theatre into an innovative and in-demand recording space and live concert venue. EYELAND proves a prism of the album’s inner themes, refracting Miller and co-founding drummer/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Prystowsky’s sonic escapades into a full-blown Möbius strip of music and meaning. The Low Anthem’s lofty aspirations and creative capriciousness resonate throughout songs like “The Pepsi Moon” and “Behind The Airport Mirror,” their elegiac arrangements and lyrical frankness marked by shimmering ambience and a hauntingly defiant tension. Psychedelic in the truest sense of that overused word, EYELAND is a perspective-shifting musical experience at once elliptical and intangible yet still precise and powerfully personal.
The Low Anthem has always avoided “the predictive approach,” says Prystowsky, “following some textbook idea.” Miller and Prystowsky began making their idiosyncratic bedroom folk in 2007, best friends constructing something altogether new from old musical traditions. Troth was pledged to the spirit of DIY as the duo dumpster dove for cereal boxes which were then converted into art for that same year’s self-made first album, sold out of a suitcase while the nascent band mercilessly toured the Northeast.
The Low Anthem’s artistic range and ardent passion for exploration exploded as they grew into a full-fledged combo, coming to the fore with 2008’s breakthrough third album, OH MY GOD, CHARLIE DARWIN (reissued a year later to worldwide acclaim by the estimable Nonesuch label). SMART FLESH followed in 2011, earning further applause for The Low Anthem’s ongoing adventurousness as both artists and producers. The band recorded the album in a derelict pasta sauce factory outside of Providence, setting up shop in a space where the environment was sure to affect the entirety of the project. The Low Anthem supported SMART FLESH with nearly non-stop touring, including an epic 26-city support tour that saw them playing 1,000 capacity theatres across Canada. Hardened by the road, Miller and Prystowsky returned home determined to find a less transient studio situation.
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