Diving In to the Sounds of Slowdive


James Madonia '24, Writer

If you’ve read my previous articles, you’d know I’m a big fan of the shoegaze and dream pop genres. I love putting on a good pair of headphones and just floating in a wall of sound; when I was introduced to Slowdive, I was smitten. They’re a third of the shoegaze triumvirate – Slowdive, along with My Bloody Valentine and the Cocteau Twins, pretty much invented the genre in late-1980s Britain. These bands are popular in the indie scene, known for releasing Souvlaki, Loveless, and Heaven or Las Vegas, respectively. I’ll be focusing on Slowdive for this review. 

Many consider Slowdive’s 1993 release Souvlaki to be a masterpiece. Opener “Alison,” “Souvlaki Space Station,” “When the Sun Hits,” and “Dagger” are classics – and, while I certainly like them (In fact, I tried to cover “Dagger” which you can listen to here.), they have some stiff competition: Slowdive’s most recent album, Slowdive. After a few listens, I was in love. It has since risen the ranks to become my current favorite album.

I had my doubts before I first listened; this is an album from a band whose members are in their 50’s, and whose most recent album (up until now) was released in 1995. When most bands whose members are older than their competition release comeback albums, they’re usually cash-grabs on the uninspiring side of mediocre (Tears for Fears, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns n’ Roses… need I say more?) – but Slowdive is definitely not one such band, and their newest release is definitely not one such album. In contrast, Slowdive has aged quite gracefully; they’ve tweaked their sound in all the right ways in a fruitful attempt to keep the band sounding fresh. They worked with Chris Coady, the producer/engineer behind Beach House’s Bloom, to create a blend of shoegaze and dream pop that while isn’t a new sound per se, is still distinctively Slowdive. I’m excited to hear what they release next.