The Dirty Three: Toward the Low Sun
Last night, before giving in to sleep, I listened over and over to the Dirty Three’s upcoming record, Toward the Low Sun, the band’s first release in seven years and their first for the great Chicago label, Drag City.
The Dirty Three (Mick Turner on guitars, Warren Ellis on violin, and Jim White on drums) has always shown a deep respect and admiration for those magical spaces in betweenbetween the notes, between one another, between the music and the listener. You can hear this in the gentle, expert touch of brushes against snare; the tap of sticks against steel; the stroke, sometimes violent, sometimes tender, of bow against gut; the pluck and strum of flesh against brass. Though there are no words, the players speak to one another clearly. In the exchange, the listener learns a love for creation, a love for collaboration, a love for basic sound, gorgeous and nurturing.
It was funny: Last night, as I listened, there were many moments when I was confused into thinking that the sounds I heard within the music were actually coming from beyond my listening room walls; times again, when I was confused into thinking that the sounds I heard from outside my windows were actually coming from within the music.
And when I woke this morning, quite magically with “Rain Song’s” sweet melody lapping through my mind, I stayed beneath the covers longer than I usually would, listening happily as the Friday morning rain tapped and splashed against my windows.
Dirty Three’s Toward the Low Sun will be released by Drag City on February 28. Look for my review in the April issue of Stereophile. Listen to “Rising Below” here.