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THE SLOW SHOW

The Slow Show

Subtle Love

    No band smoulders quite like The Slow Show.

    The Manchester four-piece have built a reputation for soaring crescendos and deep emotional canyons, making music for romantic souls and wounded hearts.

    Subtle Love not only distils The Slow Show’s sumptuous indie pop formula, but it casts the group’s net into exciting fresh waters, incorporating winsome folk (Royal Blue) and anthemic, widescreen rock (One Shot) too. Across ten songs, the listener is taken on an amble through the band’s past and into a tantalising future. It is a highly melodic and moving affair, made by kindred spirits and lifelong friends.

    The band decamped to Cave Hill in Belfast, where Joel Byrne-McCullough grew up. “I hadn’t been there for 15 years,” marvels the guitarist. While there, the band stuck side by side and bonded afresh. “It was a great time of togetherness,” reveals Rob. “We lived in the same house, we ate together, we went to the local pub, we talked about life.”

    Across a five-day period, all ten songs that make up the album had taken shape and been committed to tape by their producer, Joel’s brother, Dan Byrne-McCullough. Dan’s presence enabled an intimacy and familiarity that made everyone feel comfortable, and this brought out the best in the band.

    One Shot is the first taster from the album and is arguably the band’s most anthemic and sing-a-long song of their career to date.

    Joel reminisces “I remember when we had the music of One Shot. It was the evening, and we were sat in the sitting room [in Belfast’, the fire was on, and we were having our dinner watching the news: me, Rob, and Fred [Kindt – band keyboardist]. After dinner, Rob was singing a few things over those chords.

    As soon as he sung, ‘We’ve got one shot’, I said, 'That's it'.”

    TRACK LISTING

    Roulette
    Tides
    Learning To Dance
    Subtle Love
    Royal Blue
    One Shot
    Lament
    Builder Boy
    Trainride
    Pale

    The Slow Show

    Still Life

      “An ode to love and loyalty. The song is a defiant pledge to never giving up on the people you love. Musically we wanted the song to have impact, a directness and powerful punch that we'd previously shied away from.” - Robert Goodwin.

      The making of STILL LIFE has been quite the ride. Following their breakthrough album, 'White Water', it was clear The Slow Show were not just ‘another band from Manchester’. The legacy of The Smiths, Joy Division and all those other great predecessors is not something to be trifled with, but The Slow Show didn't need to wear their address on their sleeve: this was something else, fully formed, with a mesmerising sound, rich in atmosphere and melody.

      With the band’s desire to push each other outside of their respective comfort zones during the recording process, STILL LIFE subsequently offers a more diverse, rich and interesting sound than previous albums.

      “We did develop our sound', says lead singer Rob Goodwin. 'We had to try something else. We felt we owed that to ourselves, and to the people that come and enjoy the music. We explored a lot of stuff: different sounds, different feelings, different ideas, different processes as well. Some of them didn't work at all, but some did. It was difficult and challenging, but it felt good in the end.”

      This experimental side to the creative process allowed the band to introduce new elements to their work. 'Some new approaches and sounds crept in', keyboardist Frederick 't Kindt admits. 'Some were far from our older work. For instance: after some initial encouragement from me, Rob was keen to sing a bit higher on this record. Chris was encouraged to make his drums a bit more present; some things almost sound like a breakbeat to my ears.'

      Recorded remotely over the course of the past year, with Goodwin recording vocals from Dusseldorf in Germany and the rest of band recording in the UK, STILL LIFE as a concept, takes inspiration from the experiences of lockdown:

      “Before the virus arrived, I had a busy life; spending two weeks in Germany with my girlfriend, and then flying to Manchester to work with Fred or to a gig.” Goodwin remarks: “And then all of a sudden, life came to a halt. It took a little getting used to, but I actually had a really nice realisation during that time. I understood that the slower life got, the more I saw. I spent a lot of time in nature, seeing things in a different perspective. And that's what you need when you're trying to create. You have to really look, and then you see things happening everywhere.”

      The tracks themselves are brimming with emotion and reverence towards the significant relationships we encounter in life. Stand-out anthem ‘Blinking’ is a defiant pledge to never giving up on the people you love. Musically the band wanted the song to have impact, a directness and powerful punch that they'd previously shied away from. Whilst ‘Woven Blue’ deals with the aftermath of uncoupling. The idea that meaningful relationships are very often woven and complex, making resolve difficult.

      These very personal tracks are counterbalanced with the more topical, ‘Breathe’, which documents some of the unjust and heart-breaking scenes of 2020 with spoken word references to John Boyega’s emotional rallying cry in support of Black Lives Matter movement in London's Hyde Park.

      In all, STILL LIFE marks another evolution of a band that have never tried to fit in any particular box but have inhabited their own unique universe.

      TRACK LISTING

      01 Mountbatten
      02 Anybody Else Inside
      03 Slippin’
      04 Rare Bird
      05 Woven Blue
      06 Blue Nights
      07 Breathe
      08 Blinking
      09 Hey Lover
      10 Who Knows
      11 Weightless


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