Everything Is Alive


Dead Oceans, 2023


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their second reunion album and first in six years, Slowdive have returned with a collection of songs that is absolutely awe-inspiring.

At just eight songs and 41 minutes, you may think at first you’re being ripped off. But then you press play on track one, “shanty” and all those opinions just melt away. The combination of the hypnotic music and vocals of Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead and the ambience is enough to make this one of the more exciting tracks I’ve heard this year. There’s a lot of passages throughout the whole record where there are no vocals or subtly whispered lyrics and that’s been quite a change for my brain, but I love it. Think shoegaze for an art exhibit.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“prayer remembered” is lush and gorgeous and doesn’t feel like a waste of time. That’s when you know you made some good music when it doesn’t feel like there’s any filler to pad out a record. “alife” is one of those beautiful tracks where you can’t really make out the words, but what you hear sounds gorgeous when paired with the music. I was enthralled with this record and if you were already a fan, then this will just be another pinnacle for the band. “kisses” is probably the poppiest this record gets, not to say it’s a downer; far from it, it’s the closest the band have come to upping the tempo ever so slightly and not losing one iota of their identity or sound in the progress.

One of two nearly seven-minute tracks, “chained to a cloud” kicks off with a rollicking keyboard intro and while it contains two choruses spread out over long instrumental passages, it never feels old or stale. It keeps being entertaining and is another track destined for endless repeats. Ending track “the slab” has one of the best riffs of the year and that alone makes it a massive standout. Really great way to end things.

Albums like this prove that tried and true bands like Slowdive don’t have to make an album every two or three years. They can take their time and work on stuff until they’re completely satisfied and what they get results in some amazing music you’ll want to keep listening to again and again.

Rating: A-

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