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

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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
Cherry Glazerr released their explosive full-length album Apocalipstick on Inauguration Day in 2017. You might think the two tumultuous years since would have driven the band toward even more explicitly topical commentary. But as singer/guitarist/founder Clementine Creevy began writing the first of some thirty songs that would make up the new Stuffed & Ready, she found unexpected inspiration by turning inward. That meant leading her band somewhere new and writing songs that would reveal aspects of herself she realized she’d once concealed.

Apocalipstick sizzled with Creevy’s confidence, vision and fiercely idiosyncratic personality. Stuffed & Ready announces Creevy as a songwriter newly tempered and strengthened by coming to terms with her own uncertainty confusion and anger. It’s her go-for-broke honesty that gives Stuffed & Ready its power and gravity. “I am telling my story of how I feel and where I am in life,” she says. “I’m exploring my own self-doubt. I’m confused about what happiness is and I’m searching for my place in the world. With Apocalipstick, I was an over-confident teenager trying to solve the world’s problems. With Stuffed & Ready, I’m a much more weary and perhaps cynical woman who believes you need to figure your own self out first.”

Now a three-piece with drummer Tabor Allen and bassist Devin O’Brien (synth player Sasami Ashworth has moved on to her own solo work), the band made a first version of Stuffed early in 2018 with much-loved engineer and musician John Vanderslice, who they “adore deeply as a human and friend.” Together they concocted a “very live sounding, self-produced album, which was a very cool experience, but wasn’t exactly what I wanted to put into the ether at this time,” says Creevy. “So I put that aside and called up Carlos (de la Garza, who co-produced Apocalipstick).” I decided that I wanted a producer to push me, I wanted to be questioned, to rip my songs apart and look at their guts and pour myself open again. And I wanted it to sound massive.”

For six full months, they’d be at the studio by 9:01am, ready to write and record all day and sometimes into the night. Each song had to speak for itself, and if it didn’t, they’d scrap it or change it, says Creevy: “Sometimes I’d lay on the floor for like an hour and then pop up like, ‘I got it! I GOT IT!’” She’d named the album on a solo drive through the California desert, inspired once she was free from all distraction. She made the album the same way, eliminating anything that couldn’t answer a single simple question: is this really me? It was exhausting, but somehow joyful, too, and the result is Cherry Glazerr’s most daring and intimate music yet.

“It felt like I was being more vulnerable than I wanted to be at times,” she says. “I’ve been feeling the need to explain my feelings ... not just state them, but search for why I feel the way I do in the most honest way possible. This is what separates this album from its predecessor. I’m trying to stop myself from obfuscation, which I used to hide behind, but not anymore. I’m writing with intent.”

It's that clarity of intent that makes Stuffed such a raw and resonant listen where Creevy has never sounded more powerful. In “Ohio,” she attacks feelings of isolation and despair with Trompe Le Monde Pixies guitar and an arctic Laetitia Sadier deadpan: “I wish myself the best but I’m broken / the light inside my head went dead and I turned off.” On the searing and satirical “Daddi,” she’s asking the straight cis men of the world for the permission that they so adamantly demand in every aspect of her life, writing : “Where should I go Daddi / what should I say / where should I go / is it okay with you ?” On the furious Sleater-Kinney-style “Wasted Nun,” she’s erupting against the way society constantly pressures her to be perfect, showing that she’s too stubborn to calmly cooperate. “People want girls to be strong, but I’m angry, and those are two very different things,” she says. “I’m enraged because I feel like America’s mindset sees women as less capable beings, and that social mainframe feels impenetrable and that enrages me. That’s why the song is so intense and loud.” And on the seething grunge-pop track “Stupid Fish,” she sings about how it’s okay to not have all the answers, and how some questions might not even have answers: “I used to think adults knew better, but now I think adults are just better at pretending to know things,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with ‘I don’t know.’”

The point has been the same, all the way back to those first guitar demos she taped in her bedroom years ago. Clementine Creevy has always wanted to make music that connects with people, she says. On Apocalipstick, she did that by telling them what she thought. On Stuffed & Ready, she’s showing them who she is: “I’m putting out these songs and sharing them to make people happy and to make people feel less alone,” she says. “I want this album to evoke a freedom, or you could even say a recklessness in people. I want to allow people to let out all of the fear and anger and confusion that all of us carry around. I want to make people dance, and really fucking mean it.”
Venue Information:
UnionTransfer
1026 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19123