May 2, 2017
22 years ago it seemed as though Slowdive had met their end: an unforgiving press, a disillusioned label, and a straggling third album. Fast-forward to the 2014 Primavera Sound Festival: shoegaze’s influence has spawned a new generation of artists, hints of that gauzy, droning sound sneak onto the radio, and Slowdive reunites to a crowd of over 25,000 fans. This Friday, the dream-pop pioneers will release a self-titled collection of new music that manages to spin their sound from the 90’s into something inventive and forward. The new record comes out on Dead Oceans, recorded in Oxfordshire, and mixed Chris Coady who has worked with TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Beach House.
Slowdive is technically a follow-up to 1995’s Pygmalion which skewed towards heavy-ambient, minimalist arrangements that flirted with electronics and was ill-received. The band formed in 1989 soon after founding members Halstead and Goswell graduated high school and were signed to Creation Records by the time most of the band was 19. Their debut Just For Day found fans at NME just as the rest of the music journalism world began to rail against “shoegazers”. Now hailed as an important touchstone of the genre, their second LP, Souvlaki, was declared lazy, soulless, and unfulfilling. Despite facing the brunt of an angry press, the band has more or less made peace with the past and seem to be content making new music for the fans who came around in the interim.