Album Review: Slowdive – Slowdive

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One would not expect a band to release a self-titled album 25 years after their debut album, (Slowdive does have a self-titled EP though!), but Slowdive has done it. It has been 22 years since Slowdive released their last album, “Pygmalion”, while still signed to their previous record label “Creation”. Last year, lead singer and guitarist of Slowdive, Rachel Goswell, confirmed they were working on a new full length studio album. Well, now Slowdive is back on their new label called “Dead Oceans” and they have released two singles, both with accompanying music videos in support of their new self titled which dropped today.

This album sounds much like the classic shoegaze albums of the 90’s that bands like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Ride were releasing, but with a 21st century twist that really makes the album stand out among it’s predecessors, and among the dozens of shoegaze influenced bands that have formed in the recent decade. This album sounds and feels like an interstellar space cloud that glides alongside the listener from the first song to the last. A lot of the instruments on this album have this live and unedited feel to them which makes this album feel very human as well. Slowdive is not afraid to pick up speed on this album which is apparent in songs like “Don’t Know Why” and “Star Roving”. “Star Roving” is a star track on this record as well as the first single. This jangly track has such a strong passionate energy to it, that it’s not hard to actually forget that it has been two decades since this band has actually released any new material to the public. Then you have the second single off this album, “Sugar For The Pill” which has a beautiful riff that already feels credible after the first time you hear it especially when combined with the sophisticated drumming of Simon Scott, and I believe this song will in time establish itself as a dream pop classic. The vocals on “Sugar For The Pill” are much more prominent then on any other track, and they are delivered with a retrospective tone that could not have been replicated on the band’s previous studio albums. “Falling Ashes”, the closer on this album, shows the album can also get slow and introspective by beginning with a 2 minute long intro of this psychedelic- but simple keyboard riff before picking up into some variation in instrumentation along with some dreary- mumbled vocals.

All in all, this is a classic example of a ethereal shoegaze album that remains sleepy and melancholic throughout each song, while also keeping up this blissful and eerily upbeat tone. Slowdive makes excellent and professional use of reverb and delay effects without getting too carried away and without letting a single instrument get thrown up way too high in the mix. I hope this album is a sign of a new beginning for Slowdive with their new record label. I believe we will be seeing a new album within the next two years and I look forward to listening to it as always.

Release Date: 5 May 2017

Genres: Shoegaze, Dream Pop.

Tracklist:

  1. Slomo
  2. Star Roving
  3. Don’t Know Why
  4. Sugar for the Pill
  5. Everyone Knows
  6. No Longer Making Time
  7. Go Get It
  8. Falling Ashes

Track Highlights: Star Roving, Sugar for the Pill, Everyone Knows, Go Get It.

i. e. 8.5/10

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