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Tuesday 9 January 2024


Slowdive's Everything Is Alive album was one of last year's best guitar albums, alongside Yo La Tengo's This Stupid World. Slowdive's return began in 2017 with a self titled album, their first since dissolving in the mid- 90s. Everything Is Alive builds on that album (which felt like a rebirth), the experiences of the band's members in the intervening years (sessions were begun, interrupted by Covid and then restarted, and two of the group lost parents during the recording) and the way that shoegaze has grown as a genre and is now a sound whose time has fully come, the music press criticisms of it from the early and mid- 90s, many of which were pretty rabid, gone in a wall of FX and guitar/ synth noise. 

The album opens with Shanty, the blurp of a synth, then layers of guitars and FX, all building and after a minute finally drums and propulsion. Rachel Goswell's voice appears through the sound, indistinct, a hint rather than a vocal. Neil Halstead's voice might be there too. The guitars push through, one chiming and the other strumming, textures as much as chords, but everything's a blur, it's all a bit like dusk in winter .



Rickyotter said...

Loved Slowdive in the 90's, but they've had a similar trajectory to Ride - shoegaze legends returning for a victory lap, but both bands coming back with a pair of albums that are their best work - quite the feat

Swiss Adam said...

Yep, agree, both bands showing re- unions needn't be solely about playing the back catalogue.