In August, Slowdive released their highly anticipated new album, everything is alive, via Dead Oceans. The shoegaze legends hit the road for a North American tour, and they appeared at 9:30 Club recently with openers Drab Majesty.
Nalinee Darmrong was there to shoot the show.
Some of this overview is adapted from a press release.
At 9:30 Club on Sept. 30, Slowdive presented four songs from everything is alive, the English rockers’ fifth studio album, in a 16-song setlist during a sold-out show.
In the encore, the quintet performed “prayer remembered” and “the slab” from the new album. They began the show with “shanty” and added “kisses” at about the three-quarters mark of the show.
Of “the slab,” vocalist/guitarist Neil Halstead said, “This is the heaviest track on the record and as the name suggests we wanted it to feel like a big slab of music. We wanted it to feel very dense.”
Watch the official visualizer for “the slab” by Slowdive on YouTube:
Spanning psychedelic soundscapes, pulsating ’80s electronic elements and John Cale-inspired journeys, everything is alive contains the duality of Slowdive’s familiar internal language mixed with the exaltation of new beginnings. Dedicated to front woman Rachel Goswell’s mother and drummer Simon Scott’s father, who both died in 2020, it’s an exploration into the shimmering nature of life and the universal touch points within it.
“There were some profound shifts for some of us personally,” Goswell says. Those crossroads are reflected in the many-layered emotional tenor of Slowdive’s music; everything is alive is heavy with experience, but each note is poised, wise, and necessarily pitched to hope.
Slowdive brought with them California goth duo Drab Majesty to open the show. Drab Majesty recently released a new EP, An Object in Motion, which took the band’s sound in a decidedly fresh psychedelic direction. Drab Majesty performed songs like “The Skin and the Glove” and “Vanity” (for which they are joined by Rachel Boswell) from the new EP but also a few songs from The Demonstration (2017) and Modern Mirror (2019), their second and third full-length albums. Drab Majesty’s psych-leanings made them an ideal opener for shoegazey Slowdive.
Watch the official music video for “Vanity” by Drab Majesty featuring Rachel Boswell on YouTube:
Drab Majesty is one of a number of bands passing through DC recently on their way to the Darker Waves Festival in Huntington Beach, California, on Nov. 18 .
Here are some photos of Drab Majesty performing at 9:30 Club on Sept. 30, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Nalinee Darmrong.
Here are some photos of Slowdive headlining 9:30 Club on Sept. 30, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Nalinee Darmrong.