The Slow Show return with their fourth album. The making of Still Life has been quite the ride. Following their breakthrough album, White Water, it was clear The Slow Show were not just ‘another band from Manchester’. The legacy of The Smiths, Joy Division and all those other great predecessors is not something to be trifled with, but The Slow Show didn't need to wear their address on their sleeve: this was something else, fully formed, with a mesmerising sound, rich in atmosphere and melody.
With the band’s desire to push each other outside of their respective comfort zones during the recording process, Still Life subsequently offers a more diverse, rich and interesting sound than previous albums.
Recorded remotely over the course of the past year, with Goodwin recording vocals from Dusseldorf in Germany and the rest of band recording in the UK, Still Life as a concept, takes inspiration from the experiences of lockdown:
The tracks themselves are brimming with emotion and reverence towards the significant relationships we encounter in life. Stand-out anthem ‘Blinking’ is a defiant pledge to never giving up on the people you love. Musically the band wanted the song to have impact, a directness and powerful punch that they'd previously shied away from. Whilst ‘Woven Blue’ deals with the aftermath of uncoupling. The idea that meaningful relationships are very often woven and complex, making resolve difficult.
These very personal tracks are counterbalanced with the more topical, ‘Breathe’, which documents some of the unjust and heart-breaking scenes of 2020 with spoken word references to John Boyega’s emotional rallying cry in support of Black Lives Matter movement in London's Hyde Park.
In all, Still Life marks another evolution of a band that have never tried to fit in any particular box but have inhabited their own unique universe.