The Slow Slow second full-length Dream Darling is a magnificently miserable and emotive record that’s knocked us for six. Andy Jones reports…
HALDEN POP RECORDINGS
Oh, if everything shitty in life could be sorted out by writing a (bloody good) song about it, as this Mancunian outfit are wont to do, then we’d all be a lot better off by now. Their debut release, White Water, covered nervous breakdowns (on Dresden, which has become the anthemic highlight of their live shows), obsession (the equally great Bloodline) and death (Brother), among other less-than-cheerful subjects. Dream Darling, the quintet’s follow up, sees them tackling alcoholism, (possibly) prostitution and, erm, street brawling. Well, why on earth not?
Yet the resulting music isn’t overly dark-hued, rather it’s mournful, contemplative, considered and delicate. Think elements of Sigur Rós, Tindersticks, The Blue Nile and, of course, The National. Yes, it’s that kind of dark, the self-indulgent place that you do want to be in when you’re feeling just a tad sorry for yourself.
The highlights herein are Hurts, Dry My Bones and the album’s first single, Ordinary Lives, but every track pulls you in with a quiet intensity that builds to often dramatic conclusions. Dream Darling can leave you emotionally drained, but there’s also a quiet humour that seeps through every song – they seem to be saying, ‘it’s gonna get shit so we might as well roll with it’. Besides when you’re immersed in The Slow Show’s ever-building arrangements, replete with rising strings, sublime crescendos and, most importantly, Rob Goodwin’s magnificent baritone vocals, The Slow Show are as majestic and uplifting as anyone. Let’s just selfishly hope that life doesn’t get too good for them, as their misery is quite definitely our gain.