Slowdive

WXPN 88.5 Welcomes ...

Slowdive

Cherry Glazerr

Wed, November 15, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

UnionTransfer

Philadelphia, PA

$29.50

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Facebook comments:

Slowdive
Slowdive
"It felt like we were in a movie that had a totally implausible ending..."

Slowdive's second act as a live blockbuster has already been rapturously received around the world. Highlights thus far include a festival-conquering, sea-of-devotees Primavera Sound performance, of which Pitchfork noted: "The beauty of their crystalline sound is almost hard to believe, every note in its perfect place."

"It was just nice to realise that there was a decent amount of interest in it," says principal songwriter Neil Halstead. The UK shoegaze pioneers have now channelled such seemingly impossible belief into a fourth studio opus which belies his characteristic modesty. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive's stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.

Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms "a trip down memory lane", these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders' most direct material to date. Birthed at the band's talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard - "It felt like home," enthuses guitarist Christian Savill - their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles' famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady (perhaps best known for his work with Beach House, one of countless contemporary acts to have followed in Slowdive's wake).

"It's poppier than I thought it was going to be," notes Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995's previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. "When you're in a band and you do three records, there's a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record."

Drummer and loop conductor Simon Scott enhanced the likes of 'Slomo' and 'Falling Ashes' with abstract textures conjured via his laptop's signal processing software. A fecund period of experimentation with "40-minute iPhone jams" allowed the unit to then amplify the core of their chemistry. "Neil is such a gifted songwriter, so the songs won. He has these sparks of melodies, like 'Sugar For The Pill' and 'Star Roving', which are really special. But the new record still has a toe in that Pygmalion sound. In the future, things could get very interesting indeed."

This open-channel approach to creativity is reflected by Slowdive's impressively wide field of influence, from indie-rock avatars to ambient voyagers - see the tribute album of cover versions released by Berlin electronic label Morr Music. As befits such evocative visionaries, you can also hear Slowdive through the silver screen: New Queer Cinema trailblazer Gregg Araki has featured them on the soundtracks to no less than four of his films.

"When I moved to America in 2008 I was working in an organic grocery store," recalls Christian. "Kids started coming in and asking if it was true I had played in Slowdive. That's when I started thinking, 'OK, this is weird!'"

Neil Halstead: "We were always ambitious. Not in terms of trying to sell records, but in terms of making interesting records. Maybe, if you try and make interesting records, they're still interesting in a few years time. I don't know where we'd have gone if we had carried straight on. Now we've picked up a different momentum. It's intriguing to see where it goes next."

The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. This movie could run and run...
Cherry Glazerr
Cherry Glazerr
Society would deem that a prodigious girl can't be in a progressive rock band while also being in complete control of its creative vision, business plan and social messaging. Society is wrong. Clem, a 19 year old teen Queen with a headstrong resolve like her hero Patti Smith and a cartoon laugh like Muttley the dog, dreamed up Cherry Glazerr in her LA bedroom alone and is perhaps more capable of figuring a music career out than anyone who attempts this treacherous life path. And yet, she carries herself very lightly. “This one's going to be a flop!” she jokes, here to discuss the newly lined-up trio's second album, Apocalipstick. It's every bit as epic, funny, life-assuring, doom-defiant and flaming fire as that title sounds. What's more, it's the soundtrack to their collective rockstar evolution.

Today things look a little different from the band’s early days back in 2014 when they were associated with much-loved Cali imprint Burger Records (who put out their intoxicating debut Haxel Princess) and Suicide Squeeze (who released the Had Ten Dollaz 7-inch). Back then, they were born as a different trio, featuring Hannah Uribe and Sean Redman who have since both moved onto other artistic pursuits.

Now bolstering Clem's vision is the loud-in-every-way-possible drummer Tabor Allen and the level-headed but bad-ass, multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth who plays synths and notably French Horn (Clem is still scheming on how to incorporate that into Cherry Glazerr's sound). The first time the new trio all jammed together minds were blown. “My world was rocked,” recalls Clem. “I'd never played with someone who was technically that good before. It made me think, Man I gotta really step my shit up!”

On Apocalipstick the band worked with “rock'n'roll wizard” Joe Chicarelli [White Stripes, The Shins, The Strokes] and Carlos de la Garza [Bleached, M83, Tegan and Sara]. Understandably the band felt a sense of vulnerability when laying themselves bare to Joe, a producer they had so much respect for. Dispelling her own sense of ego was an added hurdle for Clem, but it allowed for their greatest risk-taking as a band yet and has paid off exponentially. “I didn't even smoke weed during pre-production because I didn't wanna disappoint Joe. I didn't wanna get in trouble!” laughs Clem. She adds, “Making a record is such a spiritual thing. You laugh, you cry, you're miserable and the happiest you'll ever be.” Tabor chimes in with typically comedy drummer timing, “It was so much simpler than that for me. Just, 'These drums sound sick.”

The band's newfound self-discipline and motivation has evolved Cherry Glazerr into a wildly complex, hugely guitar heavy, and unapologetically loud machine. “People may be shocked by the jump in our sound,” says Sasami, eager to establish that this record isn't intended to be some fancy statement about reaching their pinnacle. It was simply an opportunity they couldn't turn down. Clem has since learned how to quit focusing her attention on the fans or wider critical response. “There was a time when I just couldn't write songs because of that. You can't do that,” she says. “You can't be emotionally free if you're pandering to anyone. Serving the music is the one and only thing that matters.” That's hard when you have people telling you what to do all the time.

“Comedy in music is extremely important to me because humour is all we have as human beings,” Clem adds. The jests are particularly strong on the disgustingly catchy track 'Trash People' – it's quite literal in its self-deprecation levels. “That's a fun song about how I have dirty fucking habits,” says Clem. “It's about being road rats, nasty ass, dirty fuckers. That's how I like to live.” 'Instagratification' is a tongue-in-cheek musing on social media narcissism, which the band admit to feeding off. Sasami notes that women are shamed so much more often for their posts: “Who the fuck cares? If you wanna post a photo of your pussy go for it! The ultimate white privilege is sweating the small shit, judging people for things that don't matter.”

When it comes to sweating the major shit, Cherry Glazerr live like they want to see others live. They don't want to preach certain politics, they'd rather hold court for an open discourse. The subject of equality among the sexes, however, holds a special, unavoidable place for Clem, torchbearer for feminism in its raddest forms. That's so key to her aesthetic that it's the opening sentiment of Apocalipstick via the anthemic, disaster-laden 'Told You I'd Be With The Guys'. The song documents Clem's realization that she needed to establish solidarity with other women and stop being a “lone wolf”. “Sexism is so ingrained in me, I can often feel that men are the only ones who can help me socially, economically. The most important thing in my life is that I've realized I need to work for solidarity. That song's both hopeful and dismal!” she laughs. Clem still feels the constant need to prove herself. “Women work from behind their oppression. In order to make good art you need to be emotionally free and sadly, not a lot of women are able to do that. That always puts a fire under my ass.”
Venue Information:
UnionTransfer
1026 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19123