Shoegaze pioneers Slowdive have finally dropped their long-awaited self-titled album – their first in 22 years.
Slomo harks back to their distinctive sound of the early 90s, with soaring keyboards over guitar swells and hazy vocals. The whole mix is submersed in huge reverbs, creating a dreamy and ethereal opening to the album.
Lead single Star Roving is clearer, with driving drums and a biting guitar riff, allowing for Neil Halstad to deliver sharp vocals. There is an urgency to the frantic hi-hat and snare work of Don’t Know Why, but the seamless shifts between energy and tranquillity showcase the band’s songwriting maturity.
Sugar for the Pill, with Nick Chaplin’s smooth bass lines, returns toa mellow and introverted feel. The echoed guitar sounds continue in No Longer Making Time, building to a darker, distorted tone while Rachel Goswell harmonises perfectly with Halstad.
The album closes on the intimate Falling Ashes, where soft repeated piano phrases create an atmosphere of pure fragility.
On this album, Slowdive have somehow managed to capture the sounds of every stage of their earlier career, while still sounding fresh and modern.