Slowdive - Slowdive (Vinyl)

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The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. A band whose reach goes far beyond just influencing music is back, with their first new album in 22 years. The album is called 'Slowdive' - self-titled in an echo of their debut EP from 1990, and is remarkably direct. Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms "a trip down memory lane", these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders' most direct material to date. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive's stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.

Gatefold Sleeve.


Catatonic Bliss.
That is the strange amalgam of words my brain produced describing the effect this band has on me. For 90% of their songs, it only takes a few seconds for warmth to spread over me, to feel weightless, to feel unburdened by any cares in the world. This is no different for the band's latest effort, which firmly cements their status atop the peak of Shoegaze, and among the forerunners of alternative entirely.

I can't say there's anything here I've never heard before. It's creative and well written consistently, but nothing necessarily breaking boundaries. That's ok, because these are simply damn good dream pop/shoegaze songs. Writing this, I'm actually finding it hard to describe all of the songs individually due to how long I space out when listening to this. When the catatonic bliss checks in, my perception of time and reality check themselves out. I can assuredly say, though, there were no bad tracks.

I can certainly tell you though, Star Roving, Don't Know Why, Sugar For The Pill, No Longer Making Time, and Falling Ashes had some incredible moments. I loved how Star Roving found a perfect balance between upbeat and danceable and chill and relaxing. I think I could spin that track and enter either mood just as well. I love the quickly sung vocals on Don't Know Why and how the words blur end-to-end, swirling around me. Sugar for the Pill roped in 25 million plays on Spotify, an incredible feat for this fairly fringe band. It's a justified feat too, rooted in the song's incredibly tight knitted melody and instrumentation, entering swells of sugary guitar (pun intended) and glistening cymbals.

The last few tracks deserve far more love than they are receiving. No Longer Making Time's suddenly swelling guitar knocks me out breathless. The bandmates find themselves in the minimalistic ambient lane first treaded by Pygmalion on Falling Ashes. Just like when I first heard Rutti, when I first heard this track, I had to stop in place. In fact, I was on a staircase, so I made sure to brace the railing to not fall over. The sparse but emotion-filled vocals and piano echoing beautifully could lead my knees to buckle, I knew that.

Slowdive, within the span of a month, have skyrocketed from being a fascination to an obsession, to one of my favorite bands ever. I wonder if I should fire my therapist, because quite frankly 40 minutes with their tunes may be enough. Everything I've heard thus far has been incredibly consistent with very few disappointments, mostly in the early EP's. I cannot wait to hear which direction they go in next now that they've returned.

By: DontSmokeGetOffline

A1 Slomo
A2 Star Roving
A3 Don't Know Why
A4 Sugar For The Pill
B1 Everyone Knows
B2 No Longer Making Time
B3 Go Get It
B4 Falling Ashes

Catalogue Number: DOC132
The brand new album and their first new music in 22 years.
Record Label: Dead Oceans