Sheffield’s brilliant fraternal twosome Low Duo have an effortlessly compelling and minimalist sound that has been fittingly described as being “truly magnificent”. They have become incredibly successful since forming in August 2010, having had airplay on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6Music show and most recently supporting BBC Sound of 2011 artist Anna Calvi, at The Harley in Sheffield,
Their EP entitled ‘The EP of Hope and Despair’ has a grit that really captures the essence of the duo and their style of music. The 5 track EP begins with the eerie ‘It Was You and Me’. With simple staccato rhythms the emphasis is really on Leigh’s fantastic vocals, proving that that you don’t need anything more than a great voice and a gifted guitarist to make a brilliantly stirring song. Listening to their lyrics they sing songs of love but they are lyrics that you can connect to rather than the nonsensical love cries that so many bands seem to abide by.
I think that one of my personal favourites from this EP is the second track ‘Fifteen Years’, based upon the fact that after having listened to the EP only a couple of times I already had this song stuck in my head! I particularly like what it builds up to, as the ending of the song bursts into a crescendo of thunderous guitar riffs before returning to its original composure. It has a really likable quality to it with its undulating rhythms and resonating vocals which I imagine makes it a very popular song.
I really like the lyrics of all of Low Duo’s songs as they have an element of delicate eccentricity to them that make them so unique. The third track on the EP ‘Like A Fly’ is no different, with a real melancholy feel to it the lyrics have a quirkiness to them that, when coupled with the hypnotic guitar chords, makes it such a spectacularly emotive song.
This is followed by the soporific ‘I Want to Die on the Moon’, although it is quite a short song that does not make it any less powerful. With ethereal keys backing the serene vocals it is a mesmerising and affecting song that I can’t help listening to over and over again.
The last track on the EP is the echoing ‘House on the Hill’. With its insistent chords it is quite a contrast to their other songs but its lyrics still have their familiar poignancy: “I’m wrapped in fear of getting older, a lonely man, no one to hold my hand”. Low Duo is quite rightly one of the most impressive bands to have come out of this generation of the Sheffield music scene and I am sure that we will be hearing a lot more of them in the future.
The full EP is available to listen to and to download on iTunes or at
Words by Felicity Crook