Shoegaze in Slomo: a Slowdive Review

Slowdive is the shoegaze legend’s newest album since their last release 22 years ago and after emerging on the scene in the ’80s. Compiled of 8 dreamy tracks, Slowdive reveals they haven’t missed a beat in the music scene and also the massive influence they’ve had on emerging bands over the years. Dream pop and post-punk still dominate the indie scene when it comes to quality, and clearly this is where it all started.

Slowdive puts lyrics to atmospheric masters like Tycho and Explosions in the Sky. Just listen to “Sugar for the Pill,” and it’s like Tycho suddenly started singing – it simply shimmers.

“Slomo” sets the scene of the album with an ’80’s beat and dreamy synth-scapes, every instrument coming in with precise anticipation, exoanding the sound and then landing, with vocals only appearing two minutes in, rightfully secondary to the instrumentation. The soft quality in the male and female voices provided by Rachel Goswell and Neil Hallstead are a perfect match, shimmering with pure reverb. “Slomo” is a superbly strong start. “Star Roving” picks up the pace, matching the likes of DIIV. “Don’t Know Why” starts as a driving track with cascading vocals, until the grand release that takes half the tempo as the beginning while maintaining the same melodic line. “Everyone Knows” is practically a page out of Jack Tatum’s early notes for Wild Nothing’s sound. “No Longer Making Time” is like Beach House and Tycho collaborated, taking his pinging guitar and her favorite drum beat in a wash of sound that’ll have your head looking down.

The album closes with bass-heavy “Go Get It,” featuring whispering, indiscernible vocals to build ups and breakdowns. And finally, “Falling Ashes” starts with hopeful piano arpeggios, slightly reminiscent of Radiohead’s “Daydream.” It’s what I can only describe as “folk-goth,” featuring deep vocals, harmonizing in thirds. It’s a soft but solid finish, that really adds depth to the album.

Each track on Slowdive is thoroughly composed, and rarely under the 5 minute mark. What makes this album so special is that each track stands out – there wasn’t one that was necessarily less interesting than the other. It’s truly an enjoyable listen and a strong comeback as we reflect on all the bands that have been influenced by Slowdive in one way or another.

Take a listen here:

 

 

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