SLOWDIVE – “KISSES”
Slowdive announce their new album, everything is alive, out September 1st on Dead Oceans, present the video for lead single, “kisses,” and unveil a North American, UK and Ireland tour (on sale Friday, June 23rd at 10am local time HERE). Six years after the group’s monumental return and self-titled album, everything is alive finds Slowdive—vocalists and guitarists Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead, guitarist Christian Savill, bassist Nick Chaplin, and drummer Simon Scott—locating ever more contours of its immersive, elemental sound. “kisses” arrives as Slowdive’s surest pop moment yet, set to Naples-by-night via its Noel Paul-directed video.
The fifth album from shoegaze giants Slowdive contains the duality of a familiar internal language mixed with the exaltation of new beginnings. everything is alive is transportive, searching and aglow, the work of a classic band continuing to project its unmistakable voice to the future. Reflecting on lead single “kisses,” Halstead said, “It wouldn’t feel right to make a really dark record right now. The album is quite eclectic emotionally, but it does feel hopeful.”
On the video, a dreamlike portrait of a Neapolitan teen giving rides to everyone he knows, Paul says “If this video evokes emotion, it’s largely due to our excellent cast. In particular Charlie and Claudia, two courageous and beautiful souls who threw themselves into their roles and set a tone of fearless vulnerability.”
Owing to their deep history, there’s a palpable familial energy to Slowdive in 2023. everything is alive is dedicated to Goswell’s mother and Scott’s father, who both died in 2020. “There were some profound shifts for some of us personally,” Goswell says. Those crossroads are reflected in the many-layered emotional tenor of Slowdive’s music; everything is alive is heavy with experience, but each note is poised, wise, and necessarily pitched to hope. Its unique alchemy subtly embodies both sadness and gratitude, groundedness and uplift.
The new record began with Halstead in the role of writer and producer, working on demos at home. Experimenting with modular synths, Halstead originally conceived of everything is alive as a “more minimal electronic record.” Slowdive’s collective decision-making ultimately drew the group back towards their signature reverb-drenched guitars, but that first concept seeped into the compositions. “As a band, when we’re all happy with it, that tends to be the stronger material. We’ve always come from slightly different directions, and the best bits are where we all meet in the middle.” Halstead says. “Slowdive is very much the sum of its parts,” Goswell adds. “Something unquantifiable happens when the five of us come together in a room.”
A multi-year recording process began in fall 2020 at Courtyard Studio, where they’ve historically recorded, and then moved to Oxfordshire and into the Wolds of Lincolnshire and back to Neil’s own Cornish studio. By early 2022, the band brought in Shawn Everett (The War On Drugs, Alvvays, SZA) to mix six of the record’s eight tracks.
everything is alive is exactly what the title suggests: an exploration into the shimmering nature of life and the universal touch points within it. Spanning psychedelic soundscapes, pulsating 80’s electronic elements and John Cale inspired journeys, the album lands immediately as something made for the future; which figures, as their fanbase has grown younger and younger as time has gone on, and their influence on forward thinking musical artists continues to prevail.
For a genre that is often thought of as divisive, and often warrants introspection, here Slowdive show their craft as the masters of it by pushing it outwards, beyond the singular; the end result being a record which feels as emotional and cathartic as it is optimistic.
Everything Is Alive
Release Date: September 1, 2023