Slowdive make a shining return with ‘Sugar For the Pill’

The return of shoegaze pioneers Slowdive has been long anticipated – long, long anticipated – by fans of the group, since their last, critically-acclaimed album  Pygmalion  was  released in 1995. Those expecting a direct continuation of the ambient, minimalist sounds of  Pygmalion  would have been surprised by the group’s first comeback single ‘Star Roving’, released back in January. This rock song with a big guitar sound has a new energy – the band are definitely moving in a new direction and exploring fresh, potentially more mature sounds.

‘Sugar for the Pill’ is another single from Slowdive’s self-titled reunion album, released last week. The track opens with a glowing guitar riff, before a steady bassline kicks in. Neil Halstead’s sombre vocal melody sits perfectly on a cushion of synths in the melancholic chorus, and Rachel Goswell’s eerie backing vocals paired with floating guitar reverb remind us that this is the same band that brought us the murky atmospheres heard on songs like ‘Alison’ and ‘Machine Gun’ in the ‘90s.

This is a poignant, dream pop ballad about a fragmented relationship, but it holds much hope for whatever else the band have up their sleeves…

Rating: ****


Image: Michelle Kambasha, Secretly

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The Student Newspaper 2016