Along with other notable bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse, and Ride, Slowdive have come to be considered one of the defining bands of the 90s shoegaze movement. During their time together, they released three albums and split in 1995 after being dropped by their label, Creation Records. Three members went on to form Mojave 3, and for two decades that seemed to be the end of the Slowdive story. Rather than disappearing into obscurity, though, the legend of the band grew, and when they announced their reformation in 2014 they were met with far more excitement than even the band members might have imagined. After a highly successful run touring the world, the band regrouped last year to write new material. Those efforts finally came to fruition this month with the release of their fourth, self-titled album on Dead Oceans.
Sounds Like: Slowdive, Ride, Helium
Why You Should Care: Adding to the vibrant garage and psych scene of the
Bay Area, Cruel Summer aims to throw some much needed shoegaze to the mix.
SOUNDS LIKE: Mojave 3, Nick Drake
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: One time shoegazer keeps up with his folk side with a new sparse tune
Sometimes a simple acoustic guitar, some light plucks of an upright bass and a tickle of the ivories is all you need to make a great song. Case in point is “Digging Shelters”, the lead song from UK songsmith Neil Halstead’s upcoming Palindrome Hunches. Formerly a member of shoegaze pioneers Slowdive and the alt country group Mojave 3, Halstead continues a solid solo career of mournful, introspective songs. The sparse arrangement of this song plays second fiddle to Halstead’s signature voice, deep and husky as he recounts the end of a relationship. ‘You know what’s the point in this?” Halstead asks as a piano is heard faintly off in the distance. There’s a breakdown and a period of mourning, but at least from it comes a great song does it not?