Shoegaze Legends Slowdive on Arvos

July 24th 2023

Slowdive members Neil and Simon stand next in the FBi CD library room, with presetner Al Grigg in between them. All three are facing the camera for a photo.

  • :: Slowdive on Arvos with Ruby and Al

Vocalist and guitarist Neil Halstead and drummer Simon Scott of the legendary British shoegaze band Slowdive dropped by Arvos with Ruby and Al ahead of their sold out show at the Enmore Theatre last Friday night. They spoke about their upcoming album everything is alive, whether their status as one of THE shoegaze bands affected the process behind recording it, and how the chaos of the pandemic drove them to create something hopeful.

Slowdive, alongside groups like the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, are world-renowned as belonging to the first wave pioneering 1990s shoegaze bands. Upholding their lofty status wasn’t, however, a concern for the five-piece when crafting their new album.

“I think we have enough trouble agreeing as a band what sounds good without worrying too much about what other people are going to think.”

The group began writing everything is alive, which is their fifth studio album since they began in 1989, on the minimal foundations of a series of repurposed electronic demos Neil had made for a side-project.

“Once everyone gets involved it takes on its own sort of life. That’s the fun part I suppose, seeing where your ideas go. And trying not to edit too much too early, so that you can allow things to kind of go in their own direction.”

Over three years at home and in the studio (the same studio Slowdive has used since they began – “it’s still got the same sofa in it, which is a really ratty old thing”), the record gradually came together. It’s an emotionally eclectic album, driving the listener through feelings of warmth and light without necessarily shying away from darkness. “Is living with thе truth, a start / Maybe it’s just enough” croon Neil and co-vocalist and guitarist Rachel Goswell on the lead single ‘Kisses’, hinting at the melancholic resolve that binds the song before launching into its loving and tender chorus.

“It was around for a long time, this track. We all like the demo of it, but we couldn’t… we just didn’t know how to record it. We did loads of different versions of it.This is the poppiest version we did – we were just like, it kind of works, let’s go with this.”

Slowdive are one of the best to ever do it and everything is alive is most definitely and obviously an album to look out for. To quote Al, “we are very lucky… I’m feeling very, very lucky indeed.”

Listen back to the full interview with Neil and Simon on Arvos up top. Pre-order Slowdive’s new album, out September 1, below.


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