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Smart Flesh + Signed Poster

Smart Flesh + Signed Poster cover art

Track Listing

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News & Reviews

  • Newport Folk Fest Doc Features Emmylou Harris, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Low Anthem, Chris Thile, Michael Daves, Wanda Jackson

    This year's Newport Folk Festival in July includes sets from Punch Brothers and Sara Watkins. A new short documentary from sö pa productions and Ryan Mastro revisits last year's festival and looks into what makes Newport so special. The video features interviews and performances from artists at last year's festival, including Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Low Anthem, Chris Thile, Michael Daves, Wanda Jackson, and Emmylou Harris. "In the story of my life, folk music brought me to music," says Harris. Newport "was where these people that I just kind of worshiped gathered." Watch the documentary here.

  • The Low Anthem to Join Feist for US Tour Dates in June

    The Low Anthem will support Feist on her US tour this spring, the Canadian singer-songwriter announced today. The band will join Feist for four shows in the Midwest in June, making stops in Minneapolis, Madison, Ann Arbor, and Columbus. Ticket on-sale dates and details are still to come. Today's news follows an unforgettable week of collaborations for The Low Anthem with The Chieftains and a SXSW set with Bruce Springsteen.

About this Album

This special bundle of Smart Flesh includes a limited-edition, letterpress poster signed by the band.

The deluxe edition of Smart Flesh includes the album on CD plus a bonus disc of additional music not available on the standard album and comes in a letterpress, numbered edition printed in the band's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.


On February 22, 2011, The Low Anthem released Smart Flesh, the self-produced follow-up to their critically lauded 2009 release, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, on Nonesuch. The majority of Smart Flesh's 11 tracks were recorded in a cavernous, vacant pasta sauce factory in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Additional tracking was done in a Providence garage (dubbed the “gator pit"). Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) mixed the record in Omaha with additional mixing by engineer Jesse Lauter (Elvis Perkins) in New York. The Low Anthem is four multi-instrumentalists—Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, Jocie Adams, and newest member Mat Davidson.

Paranormal hitchhikers, taught highwires, aircraft, swelling tumors, whirring machinery, deserted highways, mannequins, cremation, and formaldehyde make up the language of Smart Flesh—its themes include love, longing, and the vain contortions of our lives before death.

The band surveyed dozens of spaces for their portable recording studio. “We knew right away when we stepped into the factory. The space was really the main instrument for the whole record. The resonance was chilling," says Miller. "We were able to experiment with new recording techniques to capture the sound at different distances. Mics 100, even 200 feet away caught the sound barreling across the room.”

The Low Anthem is fascinated with tone and timbre. The eclectic array of instruments used on Smart Flesh include jaw harp, musical saw, stylophone, three antique pump organs (restored by the band), and oversized drum kits. An elaborate scheme was employed to re-amp noise through various chambers of the factory.


All instruments played by Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, Jocie Adams, and Mat Davidson
Additional instruments played by Ben Pilgrim (banjo, track 9; harmonium, track 11), Anton Patzner (violin, track 3), Louis Patzner (cello, track 3), and Robert Houllahan (flickering film, track 3)

Produced by The Low Anthem

“Pasta Sauce Factory Sessions” (tracks 1-4, 6, 9-11)
Recorded by Jesse Lauter
Mixed by Mike Mogis

“891 N. Main Sessions” (tracks 5, 7, 8)
Recorded by Dan Cardinal
Mixed by Jesse Lauter

Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig

Designed by Alec Thibodeau and Dan Wood
Cover Photograph: Library of Congress, FSA/OWI Collection
Pasta Sauce Factory Photographs by Ryan Mastro
Deluxe edition printed by DWRI Letterpress

All songs written by The Low Anthem except (1) by George Carter and (6) by Jocie Adams


This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand only.

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