Bursting onto the scene in February with genre-confounding debut single ‘Fade (Into View’), London-based MT. LOW have been creating something of a buzz. Clash spoke to them after the release of their skilful debut mixtape, 'Lost Of Love', about where this all started and how they do it.
MT. LOW began with a story different to most as Will and Matt Ritson, the brothers who make up MT. LOW, found the drive for the project from an impromptu trip to the Californian desert. At a moment of personal uncertainty for the pair Matt re-discovered an image of a desolate church that had been a source of past inspiration. Uncovering its location was the final push they needed to take the leap. “We took all the money that we had and grabbed a friend of ours and just went,” Will explains. This pilgrimage took them to the remote beauty of Southern California and later Nevada, a journey which has had an enormous impact on both their lives.
“It was desolate, there was nothing there and we were faced by how were feeling. It was really peaceful; everything was alright and it was nice to be very small and insignificant…Everything since has centred on that trip and that journey and it was, not just musically but in both of our lives, a really important trip.”
Both veterans of the major label route, Matt and Will have since taken the instinctive mentality of their trip to into their music. ‘Fade (Into View)’ was an effervescent introduction to their craft, full of sharp turns and bright, natural emotions. The duo then followed this up around a month later with the full mixtape, a selection of tracks full of rough-hewn honesty and glistening instrumentation.
Opening track, ‘Divide’, is defined by its tender and unembellished harmonies reminiscent of Young Fathers, while ‘Salvation’ is the demonstration of their excellent production skills, moving expertly from dizzying disorientation into perfect clarity.
Frankness is the core of their output; their creations never less than instinctive. This has extended all the way to their recording process where they are rarely in the same room. “I would rather just do it myself,” Matt chuckles before noting, “I can send ideas to Will and he can adapt them. That way you’re not really coming up with this formalised sound that fits in one room. It can go anywhere you want it.”
“Maybe it came back with us from the desert,” Will jokingly suggests. “When we came back we thought ‘that’s our attitude now,’ taking in everything completely blank and filling it with whatever we could. No one telling us what to do, no way of knowing how it’s going to turn out. Just doing it.”
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MT. LOW's new mixtape 'Lost Of Love' is out now.
Words: Ben Miles
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