Friday, 23 October 2009

The Low Anthem: Charlie Darwin

Claymation achieved its heyday with Wallace & Gromit, having been pushed aside by Pixar flicks that smack the viewer across the face with their technical prowess. All the technology can become overwhelming, so a return to the simpler pleasures of stop-motion capture has the same appeal of bypassing Whole Foods for the Amish farmers’ market. The heartbreaking “Charlie Darwin” clip End of the Road Films’ Glenn Z. Taunton and Simon Taffe created for the Low Anthem’s latest single shows the bygone genre at its best.

This lonesome clip - Darwin appears the be the only man alive - suits the song’s melancholy mood, avoiding the evolution-creation debate by focusing on the individual, the man who makes a discovery he doesn't understand. The discovery is symbolized by a buried caveman skull, which our hero rescues from an impending flood (a metaphor for religious fundamentalism perhaps?).

Not long ago NPR proclaimed this tune one of the best songs of last year. "I get chills the moment I hear this guy's voice," NPR’s Bob Boilen said of lead singer Ben Knox Miller. This Providence trio induces such chills throughout 2008’s Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, whether singing an ode to Ohio or covering Jack Kerouac via Tom Waits.

Whether you’re pro-monkey or pro-Eden, this sad tale of a man, a boat and a skull will get to you. Let the chills commence. (via Stereogum)

Verdict: 5/5 stars

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