Nov 062019

Greil Marcus first coined the term “the old weird America” to describe the strange sounds on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music collection. He connected those ’20s and ’30s folk and blues recordings to Bob Dylan and The Band’s “basement tapes,” which drew these dawn-of-recording-technology sounds and songs into the pastoral country-rock 1960s.

Vedora’s “Lowdown” feels like another link in that old weird chain. The song feints at alternative-rock, dragging the thread up through the ’90s at least, but even the more recent influences get filtered through sepia-toned layers of fuzz and strangeness. One band member even plays a glockenspiel from the ’20s, which occasionally glimmers through the haze of shoegaze guitars. “Lowdown” doesn’t sound like the 2010s particularly, but by drawing from such diverse eras, it doesn’t sound tied to any other time either.

Check out more entries in our month-long series on The Best Songs of the 2010s.

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