The Slow Show released their new album Still Life on 4 February. Whilst this is their fourth album release – the first for three years – it is the first this reviewer has come across. The record is eleven tracks and 45 minutes long, which seems to be the new standard with the return to vinyl release. Something of which is wholeheartedly approved in this parish.
There is a cohesive sound to this record. Whilst it doesn’t have one track seamlessly transitioning into the next, each song definitely belongs, and the order works well. It’s not the standard fare you hear, but there is something familiar about it, though – perhaps due to too much random music listened to over the years – not easily identifiable. For this reason, it’s a grower – don’t give up on it after the first listen because it isn’t “your thing”, give it a few more listens.
Mountbatten – which mixes classical piano and a gravelly male singing voice with strings and spoken word – is a great intro, and sets up the album beautifully, giving you a hint of what’s to come and making you want to keep listening.
Anybody Else Inside continues the simultaneous retro-yet-new sound, and then into Slippin’ – a more lyric-heavy song. There’s a softness to this album which lends itself to being background music, but when you tune in again, the lyrics and/or the instrumentation draw you back.
The piano intro on Rare Bird is familiar – in that it’s something you’ve heard all your life. As with all the songs on this album, the lyrics are great and interesting to investigate, but an instrumental version would work well. There’s also a vocal which was definitely inspired by Pink Floyd.
Each song deserves to be given your full attention – there’s something uplifting to even the most depressing of the lyrics.
If you like something a little different, like your music with deeper lyrics. or just want to hear how the band integrated trumpets, classical piano and a dance beat, this is the album for you.
Still Life is out now on [PIAS] (Europe) and Velveteen Records (ROW).