Slowdive have released a new album?? This was the first question that popped into my head when I heard the news. The second element of surprise was that it was their self-titled album! I found it on Spotify and put it on immediately, feeling a sudden nostalgic urgency for that old dream pop sound that seems to have disappeared into the mists of time. Bands like Ride and Cocteau Twins… where did they all go? I love that stuff – I need it! I pushed play on this new album, so oddly self-titled and so incongruously 2017. And then my questions were answered, because Slowdive delivered.
Slipping into that first song like a pair of warm, rediscovered socks, Slowdive launches into their first album in over two decades as if it were nothing out of the ordinary, just them, the same as always, a shoegazing quintet with a driven rhythm that sweeps you along, and pretty voices shining demurely through the electric haze. A pleasant curtain of shimmering reverb drapes over their entourage.
Slowdive in the early 90’s
As always, their music speaks with yearning and nostalgia, like a forgotten childhood friend that comes looking for you in your dreams. It is sad, it is ageless, it is love. It’s propelled by an energy that will never run out. That is what Slowdive sound like to me. It seems fitting that Rachel and Neil, the founding members that sing often in unison on their songs, have known each other since they were very little.
This album plays beautifully from start to finish, in a short but perfect collection of eight songs. It ends contemplatively on a slower note with the repeated chorus, thinking about love… As unassuming as they ever were, this album comes and goes without even a hint of ceremony or explanation, but with the self-assurance that typifies experienced musicians who know what they want to say. People given to reflection will find something beautiful in Slowdive.