A blend of old-timey string music and indie folk, the Lowest Pair are a duo from Olympia, Washington featuring singers/banjoists Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee. A native of Arkansas, Winter migrated to the Pacific Northwest in the late 2000s where she signed with esteemed, Olympia-based indie K Records, releasing a string of rustic, indie folk albums beginning with 2010's Apple Core. Meanwhile, Minneapolis native Lee spent several years honing his songcraft and banjo picking as the frontman of Twin Cities bluegrass outfit the Boys 'n the Barrels. The two met at a bluegrass festival in Winona, Minnesota in 2009 where they were both performing.
The two remained friendly, but it wasn't until January 2013 that Lee pitched the idea of making a record together. Intrigued by the possibilities of a double-banjo duo, Lee headed to Olympia where the two began writing and performing together. Working with producer Dave Simonett of the progressive bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles, they recorded their debut album, 36¢, which was released on New York indie Team Love Records. Their follow-up, The Sacred Heart Sessions, arrived a year later.
The Lowest Pair had been planning to release a new record in the Spring of 2016. So in early 2015 Palmer convinced Kendl to spend a winter in Minnesota, with the temptation of working with local greats Dave Simonett and Erik Koskinen on the new material. The duo then set off on what would be a successful season of touring the critically acclaimed album, The Sacred Heart Sessions, and a new-old-time record, I Reckon I’m Fixin’ On Kickin’ Round To Pick A Little. In the fall, returning to the Midwest to finish up the recordings they had begun a few months prior, Kendl and Palmer found themselves with a whole new batch of songs ready to lay down. After much deliberation, they ambitiously decided the two collections should be released together in 2016.
The new records, Fern Girl and Ice Man, as well as Uncertain As It Is Uneven, could be viewed as two windows into the growing and changing world of The Lowest Pair. Uncertain stays the course of their previous releases, being focused on stripped down, intimate arrangements to support their timeless songwriting and haunting vocals. Fern Girl is a more moody and adventurous exploration of new sounds, new studio production directions, and what it might sound like for The Lowest Pair to be supported by a full band, while keeping one foot planted in the rootsy aesthetics which drew them together from the beginning.
"With their bare-bones instrumentation and country-inspired, heartstring-tugging narratives, The Lowest Pair might be one of the best under-the-radar Americana duos today." - Paste Magazine