The Murder of Crows, featuring Low’s Alan Sparhawk

The Murder of Crows conjures up The Dirty Three with their haunting, violin-laden atmospherics.
The Murder of Crows

Alan Sparhawk is best known as the frontman for Low, but he has a host of other projects and collaborations under his belt, including Retribution Gospel Choir, Black Eyed Snakes, Los Besos, and The Hospital People, as well as solo material. The Murder of Crows (Facebook page) is his latest collaboration, this time with singer/violinist Gaelynn Lea (Snöbarn). Sparhawk and Lea originally began working together in 2011 to score a silent film, but they’ve since released a full-length titled Imperfecta, which you can listen to below.

The Dirty Three is the most immediate point of comparison, due to Lea’s haunting, hypnotic violin layers (see “Down By The Lake”), while the music has an improvisational feel à la Sparhawk’s solo material. “Bird Song” strikes up a jauntier, almost playful tone thanks to Lea’s sprightly violin and chirping vocals, but the bulk of Imperfecta is of a moodier and more haunting variety. However, as with Sparhawk’s most famous musical project, rays of light and beauty occasionally pierce the stormclouds — check out the opening violin salvo and choir on “Let It Go” — which make for an affecting and captivating listen.

Watch The Murder of Crows cover Low’s “Your Place on Sunset” below.

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