Song of the Day: Slowdive - Star Roving

Song of the Day
01/31/2017
Matthew Howland
photo by Ingrid Pop

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is "Star Roving" from Slowdive, which is a single released on Dead Oceans.

Slowdive - Star Roving (MP3)The heralded return of Slowdive, one of shoegaze's finest participants, brings with it several questions. Following a series of reunion dates, including a remarkable Seattle date in 2014 with KEXP faves Low, Slowdive released their first track in 22 years in mid-January. The release of new music from Slowdive after such a long absence begs fans to ask why now? Luckily for all parties, the luminous "Star Roving" finds Slowdive exploring new dimensions in their sound, as opposed to merely repeating their past successes. While audibly connected to the swirling textures and melodies of 1993's Souvlaki, "Star Roving" finds the band engaging with and expanding upon their considerable legacy.

What immediately connects "Star Roving" to Slowdive's past work is a sense of texture and place-- the band's signature elements remain intact, even as they have shifted over time. Nick Chaplin's flexible bass work balances out the constantly moving layers of guitar, Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell's sweetly contrasting vocals floating amidst the guitar din. The track immediately establishes a new phase of Slowdive's musical style, balancing the expansive, melancholy pop of Souvlaki with the open space and floating melodies of 1995's Pygmalion. It is a welcome return from a continually necessary band.

Slowdive will briefly tour the US in late April/early May, but there's no word on a Seattle date as of right now. For more information, check out the band's website and Facebook. In the meantime, here is the geometrical video for "Star Roving."

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