The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Slowdive Makes Triumphant Return to Their Melancholic Roots in “everything is alive”

AP Images
Slowdive performs their signature shoegaze sound at Pitchfork Festival.

Obscured vocals, layers of guitar feedback, thundering drums, and a hypnotic amount of reverb define the unique sound of shoegaze, the genre that Slowdive perfects on their newest album everything is alive.

Alternative rock legends Slowdive return to their signature sound after their initial 22-year hiatus.

Slowdive represents a certain teenaged melancholia that few bands can capture via stereo; Slowdive does it eerily well. From having met when they were 15, Slowdive can capture genuine, naïve feelings well into their 50s and everything is alive certainly demonstrates that.

Filled with beautiful dissonance that will send its listener into a melancholic reverie perfect for the coming cold weather, Slowdive creates a beautiful sonic landscape that keeps the music fresh and engaging.

From the droning start of the album’s opener “shanty,” the listener is met with loud guitars and hypnotic drums akin to the band’s work from the 90s, reminding us they haven’t lost it.

The loud guitars in “shanty” and “alife” provide a near-perfect soundtrack for an overwhelmingly sentimental daydream; the true essence of what shoegaze is.

To contrast the loud, wall of sound guitars, the album also features gentle ballads such as “andalucia plays,” which could pass as a stripped-down, unreleased The Cure song. Guitarist Neil Halstead softly sings the poetically inclined lyrics, “Days fold into the end/Know I ran the Roman head/And you are the heart/The prayer I remember.” These lyrics show the vulnerable, genuine emotion that makes Slowdive so well loved.

Songs like “kisses” and “skin in the game” show Slowdive not only featuring their signature sound, but adapting to modern production and improving upon themselves. Taking the best parts of their past discography while assimilating to the modern state of shoegaze, Slowdive can rival modern bands in a way older bands cannot.

“chained to a cloud” opens with a beautiful synth arpeggio that dissolves into pounding drums, loud guitars, and layers of dissonance; a perfect example of modern dream pop.

The album then closes with the cathartic, pounding “the slab” that showcases the fuzzy, dissonant side of Slowdive. 

Their long hiatus has not subtracted from the quality of music but provides a mature lens that adds a certain sentimental value to the songwriting that their previous work can’t quite provide. Hearing a mature voice sing lyrics of melancholic failed love makes the music seem wiser.

Using synths and improved guitar effects, Slowdive is only enhancing the dream-pop haze they provided within their work in the 90s.

This album is a perfect return for the band. If you’re looking for a melancholic, gloom-ridden soundtrack to your next daydream, everything is alive delivers just that. Showcasing what makes them great in a modern context and introducing new listeners in the process, Slowdive is adapting and expanding its take on shoegaze.

everything is alive is meant for teenage spirits, no matter the age.

About the Contributor
Owen Anderson, Staff Writer
Owen Anderson is a senior and a second-year journalism student. He is a second-year member of EHS Yearbook holding the position of co-managing editor. He plans to major in English on a pre-law track. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, writing reviews for movies on Letterboxd and reading. One thing about Owen is that he has a blasé attitude about anything, yet has a strong opinion on everything, even topics he is not quite informed on.