I have been discussing music with a fellow teacher a lot at work, and disocvered much in common in terms of music, particularly stuff from the pre-Britpop era. having spent today listening to Slowdive, how could I not encourage others to listen to?

The first Slowdive album Just For A Day was released in 1991, at the height of shoegazing, or as the Americans called it -‘Dreampop.’ This latter label seems quite appropriate when applied to this album. These two tracks are taken from there:

Slowdive-‘Spanish Air.’

Slowdive-‘Catch The Breeze.’ mp3

1993 saw the release of Souvlaki, which suggested a bit more of a dub feel. Whilst some sections of the music press were more preoccupied with grunge (on both sides of the Atlantic), there were those who fell for the charms of its dub influences, which showed the band had built upon the success of their debut.

Slowdive-‘Alison.’ mp3

Slowdive-‘When The Sun Hits.’ mp3

By 1995, the music scene had changed drastically. Kurt Cobain had died, and Britpop held sway in the UK, not only in the ‘indie/alternative’ scene but in the national pop charts too. Their Wikipedia entry denies that labelmates Oasis had insisted they leave the label, but this album was released a mere week before they were dropped. a shame, because this might even be my favourite of their three albums, representing truly adventurous music that’s just as out there as their (former) labelmates My Bloody Valentine had been when they released Loveless in 1991. This is ambient and dub becoming ever more important in the sound, though to be fair, the Boo Radleys -who had reinvented themselves in line with the times, had hints of it on their earlier albums.

Slowdive-‘Rutti.’ mp3

Slowdive-‘J’s Heaven.’ mp3

After the release of Pygmalion, the band more evolved than split into Mojave 3, who had far more of an Americana-influenced sound and who still prosper today.

Slowdive’s official website is here.

As always, the mp3s will be up for one week only. If you like what you hear, please go and buy the music, be it from Amazon, or your local indpendent retailer.

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