|Slow Club — One Day All Of This Wont Matter Anymore (August 19, 2016)|
Slow Club — One Day All Of This Wont Matter Anymore (August 19, 2016)≡♦≡ It’s unfortunate that the first half of ‘One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More’ feels as ephemeral and as fleeting as it does, as what follows is arguably some of the strongest work Slow Club have released to date. Steeped in decade–spanning traditions of pop, rock and folk, it’s an ambitious record marred only by early and apparent nonchalance. (DAVE BEECH, DIY MAGAZINE)
Formed: 2006 in Sheffield, England
Location: Sheffield, Britain, UK
Album release: August 19, 2016
Recorded: Virginia’s Spacebomb Studios
Record Label: Moshi Moshi Records
Genre: Indie Folk, Indie Pop
01. Where The Light Gets Lost 5:30
02. Ancient Rolling Sea 4:55
03. In Waves 3:49
04. Silver Morning 4:53
05. Come On Poet 4:25
06. Sweetest Grape On The Vine 3:37
07. Give Me Some Peace 3:38
08. Rebecca Casanova 3:54
09. Tattoo Of The King 4:47
10. The Jinx 4:05
11. Champion 3:35
12. Let The Blade Do The Work 11:18
≡♦≡ How do you keep a band interesting after ten years? It’s a question Slow Club’s Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor must have asked themselves as they started work on their fourth album. The answer seems to be producer Matthew E. White, the master of Southern–gothic folk, whose in–house band at Richmond’s Spacebomb Studios provided the consistency and tone the album required. Almost every track was played live in the studio, allowing the long–established session band’s natural chemistry to augment Charles and Rebecca’s, with the double advantage of recording being very effective, and also comparatively quick. One Day... contains some of the best melodies they’ve yet created. The duo’s knack for writing hooks and melody has, if anything, become stronger. There are choruses here you instantly feel you’ve known your whole life, like ‘Ancient Rolling Seas’ timeless, reassuring refrain of ‘I’ll always be by your side', or ‘Champion’s Dolly Parton via–Linda Ronstadt anthem of self–celebration through the darkest times. Perhaps best of all are a pair of songs to be found at the top of what traditionalists would call ‘side 2’ — ‘Rebecca Casanova’, a slice of widescreen, four–to–the–floor pop that recalls soft–rock giants Fleetwood Mac in the way it channels heartbreak onto the dancefloor, and ‘Tattoo Of The King’, a tale that takes Neil Young and the Doobie Brothers to the disco.
• Wistfulness and acceptance are very much themes on Slow Club’s fourth album, produced by Matthew E. White, the master of Southern–gothic folk, whose in–house band at Richmond’s Spacebomb Studios provided the consistency and tone the album required.
• Wistfulness and acceptance are very much themes here yet at their heart Slow Club are still a pop band and One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More contains some of the best melodies they’ve yet created. The duo’s knack for writing hooks and melody has, if anything, become stronger. There are choruses here you instantly feel you’ve known your whole life, like the timeless, reassuring refrain of “I’ll always be by your side” in ‘Ancient Rolling Sea’, or the Dolly Parton via–Linda Ronstadt anthem of self–celebration through the darkest times that is ‘Champion’. Perhaps best of all are a pair of songs to be found at the top of what traditionalists would call “side 2”— ‘Rebecca Casanova’, a slice of widescreen, four–to–the–floor pop that recalls soft–rock giants Fleetwood Mac in the way it channels heartbreak onto the dancefloor, and ‘Tattoo Of The King’, a Charles Watson tale that takes Neil Young and the Doobie Brothers to the disco. Neither sound like anything Slow Club have done before, while still somehow sounding like Slow Club always have. And if that seems like a contradiction, like two ideas saying something different but working together, well that’s Slow Club 2016 through and through.
By Pat Healy, AUGUST 15 2016 / SCORE: 7.4
≡♦≡ The British duo Slow Club traveled to Virginia’s Spacebomb Studios to record their latest LP. The songs are dressed in easy listening costumes, but they seethe with disconnect and sorrow.
≡♦≡ Like Slow Club’s previous albums, One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore finds the British duo of Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson trying on new sounds. This time, they traveled to Spacebomb Studios in Richmond, VA., where producer Matthew E. White enlisted the studio’s house band to provide the template. The core of the Spacebomb house band also helped give Natalie Prass her slow–burning variation on classic soul for her 2015 self–titled debut. But Slow Club have already done soul, with 2014’s Complete Surrender. The sound they ended up capturing here is more akin to soft rock of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Taylor often channels the likes of Sheena Easton and Linda Ronstadt, while Watson can sound like the singer from America or Walter Egan (the guy who sang “Magnet and Steel”).
≡♦≡ Slow Club present these songs in easy listening costumes, but below the surface, One Day is seething with disconnect and sorrow. The pair sing in unison less than on any of their previous releases — or at least Taylor’s voice is lower in the mix than usual when she helps augment Watson’s melodies. Though they aren’t singing together as much, it sounds like they might be singing to each other more than ever. Taylor sings lines like “I’m finding it too hard to accept your help” in “Champion;” Watson sings lines like “you’ve got your battles and they rage like an ancient rolling sea” in the lead single, “Ancient Rolling Sea.”
≡♦≡ Whether or not the latter song is actually about her, Taylor’s lyrics do evoke raging battles. She sings of being awful to lovers in several songs, and of “turning up at parties like a hurricane” on “In Waves,” the album’s second single. The latter track boasts a brilliant video, in which Taylor uses a GoPro head strap mount to capture a dizzying day of her boozing and brooding. The video also includes a shot where Watson is slouched into a seat across from Taylor in a coffee shop, playing up the rigmarole of talking on the phone to the press: “We were kinda aware it’s not like a load of bangers,” he says, “but it’s what we enjoy doing.”
≡♦≡ While he’s right that there aren’t a load of bangers on here, there are several stellar songs, the best of which showcase the duo’s adaptability, especially in surrendering musical control to the Spacebomb house band. Songs like “Where the Light Gets Lost” and “Give Me Some Peace” reach transcendence in their final minutes, as the full band stretches the tunes into unexpected shapes. “Sweetest Grape on the Vine” effortlessly floats along the “sunny day highway” that Alex Chilton was singing about in Big Star’s “Big Black Car.” “Come on Poet” allows Taylor to belt out hard emotional phrases that seem like necessary exorcisms.
≡♦≡ The biggest issue with One Day is the sequencing. Two Watson–led songs kick off the album, so it takes about 10 minutes before Taylor steps into the spotlight. This wouldn’t be so jarring if their songwriting styles didn’t seem to be growing apart. Slow Club identified as a Sheffield duo for several years, but now they live in separate cities, he in London and she in Margate, about two hours away. The Spacebomb house band do a decent job of keeping the instrumental shades consistent, but the songs Watson sings often have comparatively lighter stories — given the heaviness of Taylor’s lyrics, it feels odd to postpone her entrance for so long. For example, on “Tattoo,” Watson sings against a breezy disco–lite rhythm of saving up money to get some ink, only for it all to be ruined by scars resulting from a double bypass. Watson’s nonchalant narrative and dark humor are a stark foil to Taylor’s writing, which feels deeply personal; “Tattoo” rather inappropriately precedes a track where Taylor sings, “my hunger, it struck, we succumbed to our fuck.” You might call this uneasy listening. ≡♦≡ http://pitchfork.com/
By Ben Rosner | August 19, 2016 | 11:00am | Score: 7.7
|Slow Club — One Day All Of This Wont Matter Anymore (August 19, 2016)|