Wednesday, October 4
17 - 7th Place West, Saint Paul, MN 55102
slowdive with Drab Majesty at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul on Wednesday, October 4
Doors 6:30 p.m. | Show 7:30 p.m. | 18+
Enter for a chance to win tickets to this event.
The Current is pleased to offer a ticket giveaway to this event. Enter by noon (CDT) on Friday, September 29, for a chance to win a pair of tickets to this event. ONE (1) winner will receive two general admission tickets to Slowdive on Wednesday, October 4.
This entry is now closed. Congratulations to the lucky winner!
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 pitch its unmistakable voice to the future. Six years after the group’s monumental 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 evermore contours of its immersive, elemental sound.
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,” Halstead says. “We’ve always come from slightly different directions, and the best bits are where we all meet in the middle.” The convergence of five unique characters has made the sound. “Slowdive is very much the sum of its parts,” Goswell adds. “Something unquantifiable happens when the five of us come together in a room.”
The group’s projected studio sessions for everything is alive, in April 2020, were naturally scrapped, and when the group finally did meet up, six months later, at Courtyard Studio, where they’ve historically recorded, the mood was jubilant. (Finally, they had a proper reason to leave the house.) That was the beginning of a multi-year recording process, which moved from Oxfordshire and into the Wolds of Lincolnshire and back to Neil’s own Cornish studio before extending into February 2022, when the band brought in mixer Shawn Everett (The War On Drugs, SZA, Alvvays) to mix six of the record’s eight tracks.
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. Reflecting on “kisses,” which may be Slowdive’s surest pop moment yet, 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.”
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 '80s 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.
The latest EP from Drab Majesty marks the start of a stirring new chapter in the band’s majestic legacy. Written during a 2021 retreat to the remote coastal Oregon town of Yachats, Deb Demure leaned into the neo-psychedelic resonance of a uniquely bowl-shaped 12-string Ovation acoustic/electric guitar. After early morning hikes in the rain, Deb would record ambient guitar experiments the rest of the day, tapping into “flow states,” letting the sound lead the way. These sessions were then refined or recreated, and later elevated further with key collaborations by Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Justin Meldal-Johnson (Beck, M83, Air), and Ben Greenberg (Uniform, Circular Ruin Studio). An Object In Motion is true to its title, capturing the chrysalis moment of an artist evolving, reborn and untethered, silhouetted against an open horizon.
“Cape Perpetua” kicks off the collection’s divergent palette: sparkling acoustic finger-picking refracted through delay, equal parts raga and reverie. Melodies and moods congeal and dissipate, at the threshold of rustic American primitivism, brooding neo-folk, and pastoral melancholia. “The Skin And The Glove” deploys jangle to different effect – baggy, soaring, grey-skied kaleidoscopic pop in the spirit of Stone Roses, Primal Scream, and The Glove. Rachel Goswell lends her iconic freefall voice to The Cure-esque ballad, “Vanity,” infusing poetic gravity to the doomed refrain: “If the valve breaks / then the earthquakes / and history finds a way / to put you in your place.”
“Yield To Force”, the closing track of the EP, may be the most anomalous offering of the set. A 15-minute instrumental odyssey of cyclical strings, ominous slide guitar, and simmering synthesizer, the piece sways and spirals like a long zoom into distant storm clouds. Demure finesses the guitar with a restless but regal grandeur, unfolding a panorama of peaks, shadows, and plateaus. It’s music both intuitive and prophetic, tracing the slow swing of pendulums across an endless plain. Taken as a whole, An Object In Motion presents a showcase of potential futures from Drab’s evolving domain, their sound poised to bloom at the precipice of transformation.