Dreamy gazey indie space rockers Slowness present their new single ‘Berlin’ off their long-awaited ‘Berths’ album, following up the first single ‘Rose’. On June 7, this long-awaited album will be released on vinyl and digitally via Schoolkids Records, who has just launched album pre-orders via Indiegogo. In addition, the band are offering various swag or your own private concert.
“When we returned to New York from touring Europe, we wrote ‘Berlin’ immediately. It’s the only song on the album that was written in one fell swoop and didn’t really change from its conception. Despite the title and some of the lyrics, it wasn’t written about Germany in the 30s, but about our own country just before our current president got elected,” says Geoffrey Scott.
“It made us realize how over time we as a people have become less hospitable, and seem to move with less gentleness and grace. Coming back to America felt like we were being thrown back into into a dog-eat-dog world where someone will give your shoe a flat tire just for walking a little too slowly down the Avenue of the Americas. In fact we were, as this literally happened to me the day after we got home.”
The ‘Berths’ LP was produced by Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon, Wax Idols). Side A was engineered by Dave Voigt (Luna, John Cale, Yo La Tengo, Alex Chilton) at his Beyond Notes studio in Brooklyn. Side B was done with Vallier at Ruminator Audio in San Francisco.
This release follows up their 2014 album ‘How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain’ and 2013 album ‘For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full’.
This new Slowness album was purposefully slow like a hybrid between Slowdive, early-Cure and mid-period Neil Young. Often labelled shoegaze or dreampop with elements of slowcore, psych rock and even Krautrock, this music is perhaps best referred to as drone-pop. Imagine Spacemen 3 teaming up with Murmur-era R.E.M. with female harmonies.
“The stark contrast between the warmth and collectivism we felt in Europe and the individualistic and aggressive elements we felt upon returning to the USA made it feel as if our nation were spiraling into crisis, and that the fabric of our own society was becoming seriously threatened,” says Julie Lynn.
“We felt an irony in how our country, and what many consider the greatest city in the world, seemed to be dangerously playing with values that sent Europe up in smoke. And, yet, in the heart of Berlin we found gentleness, awareness, and egalitarianism expressed in small and large ways everywhere we went.”
Formed in 2008 in San Francisco, Julie Lynn and Geoffrey Scott started recording demos, crossing and tripping over wires from the pod to the four track recorder. In 2009, they enlisted Erik Karl on drums to help turn those demos into the songs that would become their 2011 debut EP ‘Hopeless but Otherwise’.
Eventually Lynn and Scott were joined by drummer Christy Davis, who has been playing for over 30 years with a wide variety of NYC artists, including Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, downtown avant garde artist Rebecca Moore, and political activist Reverend Billy.
As of Wednesday, May 1, ‘Berlin’ will be available across online stores like iTunes and streaming platforms like Spotify. The full ‘Berths’ album will be released on June 7.
- Slowness (2019)