Listen to this: The sublime, shimmering indie dream-pop of Slowdive - Shine (1991)
Originally just a B-side for the single “Catch the Breeze” it's perhaps surprising that this song has an official accompanying music-video. It could be something to do with how later versions of the album did feature this and additional tracks and it was filmed then - intended to be re-released as a single in its' own right.
It's hard to tell. Slowdive never troubled the Top 40 with their singles and EP’s and only their first album, of three, found that level of success.
In researching this brief article the search I did also, perhaps unsurprisingly, brought up a result for The Telescopes. We did an article on them and their song “You Set My Soul” recently and both songs do share an ethereal dream-like quality. They also both shared the same record label, Creation, which for a short time almost seemed to be the centre of the UK music scene.
The Telescopes partly failed to find significant success due to their constant changing of musical styles and influences, which were as changeable as the band's' lineup - situations that, they freely admitted, they brought upon themselves. Slowdive were more unfortunate in that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Their debut EP was greeted rapturously by the indie music press. NME, Melody Maker and the like we're all over them with glowing reports of how this fantastic new band were going to be the next big thing.
It's weird how this video doesn't seem to have dated like it ought to have. It seems strangely outside of time.
Slowdive didn't change while they went away to record their new album, the music scene did - or rather the tastemakers, the music press, had changed direction. Shoegazing (a phrase I hate but was applied to this band and those not dissimilar to it - Cocteau Twins being another) pop had, to their mind, saturated the market and something new was needed.
Which led to the rise of Brit-pop - Oasis, Blur, Pulp.
The album and the follow-ups were widely derided as being part of an old-fashioned, dull, passing musical fad. Listening to them now you just get a sense of a band slowly progressing and evolving their sound. It's not unusual to hear Slowdive being quoted as a major influence by current musical artists, and a passionate fanbase didn't forget them. A small band of London-based writers decided the music scene needed to change; but people didn't stop liking the music they liked listening to.
This isn't one of their most referenced songs, but it's the one that has the most effect on me. A glorious dream of a tune, an almost sensual experience that feels, for all the world, that it's washing over you with warmth. To listen to this song is to immediately be in a place of safety and absolute comfort - the hardships of life drop away and can't hang on; not while you're listening.
That's what I get from it, anyhow.
They reformed in 2014, the core group, and toured the world extensively. Just this month they announced they are working on a new album.
Welcome back, Slowdive.
All promotional material property of Slowdive.