Kathryn Calder's new album, Are You My Mother?, on repeat quite a bit. Seems to me that the album is tinged with an underlying sadness, even in the more musically upbeat songs. I looked at a couple reviews and learned that she wrote and recorded (most of?) the album while she was helping to take care of her mother, who passed last year.
Not having gone through an experience like that, this song, Low, captures what I think it would feel like to watch a loved one drifting, fading away. Her vocal is haunting and plainly beautiful, the way she sings "you gotta roll under, I gotta roll under, too", in reference to the rising tide. Take a deep breath and plunge underneath the wave. It's not a solemn dirge and she doesn't seem to be crying bitter tears about the unfairness of it all. It's very poignant, that realization that it was a good run despite the fact that the end is looming up ahead. Check the backup vocals and the organ, they have a hymnal quality to them, lending an almost church-like, celebration of life feel to the song.
Unfortunately, the reality and shadows are still there, and this song might be something you would whisper under your breath, almost like a mantra, while sitting in a hospital at 4am, holding someone's hand, waiting. You gotta roll under.
Kathryn Calder > Low