Perhaps no band can personify the reality of the ‘90s shoegaze scene quite like cult Reading outfit, Slowdive. Their textured and atmospheric answer to dream pop expanded upon the melodic dissonance of My Bloody Valentine’s “wall of sound”, and instead found inspiration in ‘80s noise pop rather than post-punk. In fact, Slowdive’s sophomore record, ‘Souvlaki’ is often cited as one of the genre’s (even the decades) most influential albums.
(Image courtesy of Consequence of Sound)
After teasing fans with a cryptic video clip, the five-piece released brand new track ‘Star Roving’ this morning, their first single since the release of 1995’s ‘Pygmalion’…22 years ago! ‘Star Roving’ is Slowdive all over (but isn’t that what we really wanted?). It’s awash with layers of distorted yet sublime guitar, which trail endlessly beneath Neil Halstead’s and Rachel Goswell’s enchanting dual vocals. It’s enough to make any shoegazer go weak at the knees! The vocals aren’t a separate element here, they’re at the very heart of the instrumentation.
On re-forming in 2014 to play a select handful of shows, guitarist/vocalist Halstead had said “we really wanted to make new music…It’s (‘Star Roving’) part of a bunch of new tracks we’ve been working on and it feels as fun, and as relevant playing together now as it did when we first started”. Dead Oceans (Slowdive’s new label) have already confirmed in a statement that the band are working on a new album, but could it be set for release this year? I seriously hope so, and I think we’re all ready for new Slowdive after the long wait.
Listen to ‘Star Roving’ on Spotify below, and follow Slowdive’s social media to stay up to date on any news of the elusive 4th album.
Words by Joe Bulger
Featured image courtesy of FACT Music