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The New Lows hit a new high

Local band celebrates release of I Couldn't Sleep

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Instead of recording locally, Levin was motivated to get out of town for a few days, and in April, he and The New Lows traveled to Algiers, La., to record I Couldn't Sleep at a studio called The Living Room. Ever since then, Levin has been churning out music. As a result, the free CD-release show at Will's Pub this weekend will feature not only the latest songs from the album, but also even newer songs that Levin says skew even further toward punk.

As for the collage-like cover art, Levin took creative charge of that, too, playing off the Francisco Goya etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. That piece, which can be interpreted in a variety of ways, suggests both the suppression and protection of the imagination, a personal struggle that unexpectedly led Levin and The New Lows toward what Levin calls their most unique record to date.

"I'm really happy with the way it came out, with all the factors that played in, just trying to be the least stressful as possible," Levin says. "Hopefully, that will come through, the joy of production and recording; I think it did. I was playing with guys who are really good friends, so it's been awesome hanging out with these people, and a lot of what is coming out of The New Lows is just about friendship."

Following the album's release, The New Lows will primarily stay local, playing a few December dates around Florida. There are loose plans for a tour in the summer, which makes sense given Levin's day job as a middle school teacher. And while I Couldn't Sleep has yet to be unboxed, for this band, which has cycled through some incredible talents and experienced lapses between releases, it seems they've fallen into a groove where the next thing is just around the corner, thanks to a somber wake-up call from a good friend.

"I think I've also been inspired, somehow, by Ralph's death," Levin says, "to become a little more motivated and proactive."

The New Lows CD Release Party With Basements of Florida, SC Accidental

9 p.m., Nov. 10
Will's Pub
1042 N. Mills Ave.

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