Ben Knox Miller does not have a neat explanation for the deliciously evocative title of his band the Low Anthem’s second album, “Smart Flesh.”
“It’s difficult to say, specifically. Our writing style as a band, and mine personally, is deliberately nonlinear and I think of an album title as sort of a clue to engage the listener,” Miller says, his voice a combination of soothing calmness and authority. “They’re words up front that draw people in, like the eye of a spider’s web, and everything can be seen as it pertains to that. It’s that clue that you give.”
Less mysteriously, “Smart Flesh” is also the name of the title track, which is oddly placed as the last song of the record, creating this engrossing winding path to a grand finale and album anchor.
“It just ended up taking this form. The record circles around — circles around the ideas in that song. If there’s any song that lets the songs talk amongst each other, it’s that song,” he says. “It seemed like the one tune to feature by choosing it to name the album overall.”
All in all, Miller says he wants the listener to do some work and find their own thoughts about the record — and perhaps about him, too.
“I guess it’s all just a clue,” he offers. “Or a personal window.”
Miller sounds off on Sundance, soundtracks
The Low Anthem kicked off the year with a performance at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Miller insists he was not looking for soundtrack work hookups.
“It’s not something I’m interested in right now. All I want to do for the immediate future is make more of our own records,” he says. “I have some friends who are aspiring filmmakers that I’d love to help out, maybe down the road.”