By 1993, “shoegaze” had massively declined in popularity with many critics turning on the entire genre. UK band Slowdive found critical acclaim with their 1991 debut Just for a Day, but the negativity had a large effect on the still-teenaged members of the band. After scrapping nearly 40 songs during their first recording session, Slowdive reached out to Brian Eno to produce their second album, Souvlaki. He insisted on collaborating instead. (Eno co-wrote the song “Sing” and plays keyboard on the track “Here She Comes.”) The album was released on May 17, 1993, to mixed results, with Creation Records’ founder Alan McGee telling Pitchfork that at the time, the music press were just more interested in Britpop bands like Oasis. As a quarter of a century has passed, the album has since become heralded as a shoegaze classic.
Last year, KEXP spoke with founding member, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Rachel Goswell about Slowdive’s first album in 22 years, their self-titled fourth LP released via Dead Oceans. On the eve of its release, Goswell looked back at the band’s catalog. As Souvlaki celebrates its 25th anniversary today, here’s what she had to say about it.
Souvlaki was the difficult second album. It’s been very well documented — obviously — over the last few years. I think it’s my favorite record, actually. I mean, the writing and recording processes were different for every single record, and that still rings true for this new one as well. Different, again. I’m really proud of that record. It was great to have Brian Eno involved in that record and co-writing some of the stuff on there. And I suppose, a lot of my favorite songs are on that record, and we do play quite a lot of that album live.
Re-listen to the entire interview below as aired on The Morning Show on KEXP last year, and watch their recent KEXP in-studio session, filmed October 25, 2017.