For mostly personal reasons, 2012 was a disappointing year for me, but I have to say I don’t think it was a particularly good year for new music either. Sure, there were lots of singles and EPs from promising new bands, but no full length releases that made the Shoegaze world sit up and take notice in the way that Tamaryn‘s The Waves and Highspire‘s Aquatic had done in 2010.
As Winter neared, the highlights for me remained a welcome and surprisingly good return to form from Echodrone with Bon Voyage and Tender New Signs, Tamaryn‘s understated second album. Then 93MillionMilesFromTheSun released Towards the Light with the disclaimer that it was only a stopgap, something to tide us over until the band released its next album in April 2013. Not long afterwards, another reason to look forward to the new year arrived in the form of an email invitation to preview the new album from Slowness—due to be released on 12 February 2013.
It was an invitation I was more than happy to accept, although, having recalled guitarist/vocalist Geoffrey Scott’s prediction that Slowness would be banned from all Shoegazing sites after the release of their next EP, I did so with some trepidation. Almost as if anticipating this response, Slowness kindly allayed my fears by placing “Day For Night”—easily the most Shoegaze song on the new album—at the top of the playlist. My worries dispelled, I was then free to enjoy the subtle changes in style that arrived with the second song and carried on through the rest of the album*.
Bassist Julie Lynn had indicated that the new music was influenced more by Metal than by Shoegaze. I don’t listen to enough Metal to comment on the accuracy of this description, but, for the most part, the Shoegaze aspects of the songs have become less obvious. One thing that didn’t change, however, is the great sound resulting from Monte Vallier’s production and Kramer’s mastering. Another is the dedication to quality—a keystone of the Slowness music-making philosophy—that left songs on the cutting-room floor others would have been tempted to include.
For Those Who Wish To See The Glass Half Full will be released by San Francisco label Blue Aurora Audio on 180-gram vinyl and put in the mail on 1 February, so there is every chance that it will arrive at the doors of some lucky audiophiles before its official release date on the 12th. For those who, like me, have consigned the phonograph to the past, Slowness are also selling the album in a variety of downloadable formats via their Bandcamp page, where it is now available to pre-order.
If all goes well, I’ll be interviewing Geoffrey and Julie (and possibly the drummer, Scott, who is the third and final member of Slowness) sometime this evening. Look for it in a couple of days or so.
For Those Who Wish To See The Glass Half Full by Slowness (©2013 Blue Aurora Audio)
01. Day For Night (4:37)
02. The Glass (3:33)
03. Energy (3:06)
04. Calm & Dispel (3:46)
05. Repeater (5:48)
06. Wired (4:46)
07. Race To Mars (4:16)
08. Walls Of Blue (4:10)
*Coming in one song short of the very end, is the second most Shoegaze song on the album, “Race To Mars”, an earlier version of which appeared on last year’s Slowness/Dead Leaf Echo 7″ Split.