Eagulls Pick Their Favorite New Slowdive Tracks
Slowdive dropped their first new (self-titled) album since 1995 just the other week, and, to celebrate, Eagulls drummer Henry Ruddell put together a list of his favorite Slowdive songs from the new record. Check out his picks and make sure to stream the whole album for good measure.
First track up and it’s my favorite on the album, if not my new favorite Slowdive song. A generous intro of dreamy guitars leaves you in anticipation, as a lengthy gap between albums could mean anything, but it’s completely worth it. The vocal melodies shift everything and sound like they should be on an otherworldly folk song, then from there the track just keeps building up and down until ending with a Heaven or Las Vegas-style vocal crescendo that I wish would be repeated for longer. A certified moody banger.
If I was to wait twenty-two years to release a single, I would be happy with it sounding like this.
“Don’t Know Why”
“Don’t Know Why” continues where “Star Roving” and early Slowdive albums left off; my brain thinks of their older material, but the song just sounds fresher and without the infamous fuzzy sheen. It shifts in all dynamics and directions and the drums are more upfront and driving than the previous two tracks.
The infamous quote “the scene that celebrates itself” pops in my head when hearing this song. I’m almost definitely wrong, but I feel like you could interpret the lyrics of this track as being about Slowdive’s relationship with that movement (shoegaze etc.) and how music journalism contributed to its creation and fading away, particularly with their line “bury all the magic.”
Maybe/maybe not, I wasn’t around to witness this band’s birth or its given category. Still, twenty-two years later I’m very grateful for discovering all those Creation Records bands and that bands like Slowdive can come back and make a relevant album. The best part is the album doesn’t continue in the same gear from here, it changes.
“Sugar for the Pill”
This one really pricked my ears up when I heard it for the first time; it sounds more open than other Slowdive songs, an intentional step away, but I think they do it, whatever it is, really well. I heard this first on the radio and I didn’t recognize the band, which I think is always nice, especially from a band thats been around longer than I’ve existed. I also love hearing sounds or instruments that my ears can’t identify immediately; there’s something floating around in the background that I can’t put my finger on, a treat to my ruined ears.
“Everyone Knows” pulls you out of the moody track it follows, a mix of Smiths-esque jangly guitar parts with the extra reverb and a more classic ’90s chorus sound repeated back and forth. I bet it doubles in grandness live.
“No Longer Making Time”
I feel this is another song where, given the chance, you should make the time to see it live; it’ll be one of those moments when you start to get all caught up in it all and begin to think about everything in your own life. When it wants to, the song is huge and orchestral sounding, but without a million tricks.
“Go Get It”
Another one where the drums hit you a bit harder and the vocals compete with the guitars rather than intertwine. I especially like the minimal parts in this song. It has a gothy tinge to me. The percussion becomes dry and is layered with eerie vocals, which give me a similar feel to the start of the album, a return to more folky, worldly sound that sounds less structured and is more of a fusion of ideas that could have happened on the spot or been pieced together through experimentation. It’s hard to tell but doesn’t matter.
I’ve always admired Slowdive’s ability to show dynamics throughout their albums; they’re never scared to bring it right down. This album is very thoughtful, but never overthought, even after more than two decades of work. I think we’ll copy their time schedule and see where it gets us…
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