Slowdive’s self-titled “comeback” record was floating around my Spotify playlists last year and it was a nice little reminder of a band I enjoyed in my earlier years. While they weren’t my favorite shoegaze band way back when – that honor goes to Lush – they were a reliable go-to for some solid atmospheric guitar tunes.
But the couple of songs I heard nearly 25 years later wouldn’t leave my head. Select melodies drifted back and forth and I kept coming back for more. A taste here, a taste there. The songs were good, but I had no idea how irresistibly good until I let the whole album run through – at full blast. Then I finally got a copy. It’s barely left the turntable since.
Woozy and atmospheric, tranquil and sometimes rocking, Slowdive is perfect for these long, damp, gray winter days that seem to have settled in. All the sounds – angelic vocals and chiming guitars among them – congeal in a beautiful haze that’s hard to navigate. It doesn’t really matter, though, for the melodies, textures, and pure emotion are enough to push you through. Besides, sometimes it’s best to just surrender and let the sounds wash over. You know, just numb out and stare at the sky for a while.
Again, they weren’t at the top of my list, but Slowdive could seriously put them over the top in a retroactive best-of. Why? Because the record continues to deliver song after song, time after time. And it definitely gets better with age. As with most great records, there are certain moments that jump out immediately, while other more elusive sounds don’t reveal themselves until that fifth, sixth, seventh listen – when you really start digging in. Slowdive is teeming with these tiny little jewels and you’ll be rewarded handsomely for taking the taking time to settle in and discover them.
Anyway, give me a nudge in April to see if any other record has replaced this slab of excellence on our turntable. At this point, I’m not confident anything possibly could.
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