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THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2023.
Everything Is Alive, Slowdive’s 5th record, is exactly what the title suggests: an exploration into the shimmering nature of life and the universal touch points within it.
While there are parts of this record that could sit neatly next to the atmospheric quality of 1995’s Pygmalion; everything is alive also manages to break down the boundaries of what’s come before it. Spanning psychedelic soundscapes, pulsating 80’s electronic elements and John Cale inspired journeys, the album lands immediately as something made for 2023 and beyond.
For a genre that is often thought of as divisive, and often warrants introspection, here Slowdive show their craft as the masters of it by pushing it outwards, beyond the singular; the end result being a record which feels as emotional and cathartic as it is hopeful.
Liam says: When Slowdive returned in 2014, there was a real sense of jubilation and satisfaction that the shoegaze legends were finally getting their well deserved dues and plaudits. However in the years following their return, the world's landscape changed significantly. Not just on a global scale, but also on a personal level for members of the band. 'everything is alive' was born during a heavy period of grief, which can be felt on the closer “The Slab” - a visceral and overwhelming wall of sound that you just want to crawl into for solace and to escape the troubles of the world.
Despite these moments of sadness, there is real artistry in the way Slowdive manages to reflect on the human experience and how we navigate it throughout our lives. This in turn results in an absolute marvel of a record, with some of Slowdive's best work to date. Opener “Shanty” is an all-consuming shoegaze epic of colossal proportions, whilst the gorgeous “Prayer Remembered” is an atmospheric slice of ambient perfection that harks back to Slowdive's 1990 debut EP. The dreamy ”Alife” swirls amongst Rachel Goswell's ethereal vocals, which is then followed by the stripped back and vulnerable delivery of Neil Halstead on the exquisite and delicate “Andalucia Plays”. Then there's “Kisses”, the album's most 'pop' moment but also one of its best. Finally, we have the woozy headiness of “Skin In The Game” and the synth led and almost post-rock “Chained To A Cloud”, both of which just further emphasise the greatness of 'everything is alive'.
With 'everything is alive', Slowdive are well and truly full of life. Whilst their 2017 self-titled felt like a celebration of their legacy, the poignancy and beauty of 'everything is alive' feels like Slowdive never left and we hope they stay with us forever.
2. Prayer Remembered
4. Andalucia Plays
6. Skin In The Game
7. Chained To A Cloud
8.. The Slab