Dreamy gazey indie space rockers Slowness present their video for ‘Sand & Stone’, the latest single from their ‘Berths’ album. The video was directed by Oliver Ousterhout and shot in Half Moon Bay, California. This follows the first two singles off this album: ‘Berlin’ and ‘Rose’. This is a vinyl and digital release via Schoolkids Records.
‘Berths’ LP order https://
Formed in San Francisco in 2008 as a duo comprised of Julie Lynn and Geoffrey Scott, Slowness is now a trio with 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.
“We had the whole of ‘Sand & Stone’ recorded for months with no lyrics. I thought I’d get away for a long weekend and isolate myself so I could get some writing done. Through an old friend, I found a cabin in Half Moon Bay, CA. It was late May, cold and foggy. Jules and I had broken up about three months prior and I hadn’t yet begun to process it. Instead of the solitude I was hoping for, I went into a dark and lonely place,” explains Geoffrey Scott.
“Thankfully, I had cell reception so I began reaching out everywhere. I even called Jules and we talked extensively about what we were both going through. After a few days, I still couldn’t write, so I called my friend Dom P, from the band Like Herding Cats, in New York. I told him what I was going through and how I felt paralyzed, both emotionally and creatively. He encouraged me to go out to the beach and write about the environment I was in, combined with what I was going through. So that’s what I did, and “in the end,” Dom’s advice proved incredibly helpful, because it not only gave me the lyrics to the song, but it helped me begin to see the light. The sun actually broke through the fog while I was in the midst of writing, and it all came very quickly.”
‘Sand & Stone’ is about being able to recognize that while you might be going through a difficult time, the planet keeps revolving. The sun will come up, and there will be light all around you despite any maligned notions that tell you otherwise.
“One of our rotating bass players, Greg Dubrow, introduced us to his friend Oliver Ousterhout was interested in making a film for ‘Sand & Stone’. Once he saw the astonishing natural beauty of the cove that inspired the lyrics, he had a concept unfold of filming us moving through the environment backward–but played as if we were in forward motion–so that we could seemingly be surrounded by an ocean in retreat, and by footsteps that left no trace,” says Julie Lynn.
“We loved the idea. Our day working with him on-site was cold and magical, and a dreamlike experience itself! We spent a lot of time walking backwards in the sand, soaked and cold, and trying to pull off something that was far more challenging than expected. Perhaps it remained an absolute pleasure throughout because the very process of trying to move with grace kept us very closely connected to the theme of the song! Walking itself became denaturalized, and there was an ever present fear of losing balance, not being able to keep a steady direction, or being hit by waves we couldn’t see coming but knew were inevitable. But every step made it easier, and by the end of the day, it started to feel okay, even natural, to walk in this different, awkward way, and we could start to gaze outward towards the sea or the mountains as we strode instead of focusing on fear and discomfort.”
The new ‘Berths’ album 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’, preceded by their 2011 debut EP ‘Hopeless but Otherwise’.
As with all previous Slowness releases, 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.
The new LP unfolds 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.
Released on June 7, the ‘Berths’ album is availablee through most online stores, including iTunes, and streaming platforms like Spotify. It can also be ordered directly on vinyl, CD or digitally from Schoolkids Records.
Written by Julie Lynn and Geoffrey Scott
Lyrics by Geoffrey Scott
Geoffrey Scott – vocals, guitar and keys
Julie Lynn – vocals, bass and keys
Christy Davis – drums and additional vocals
Produced by Monte Vallier
Mastered by Carl Saff
Side A engineered by Dave Voigt at Beyond Notes Studio in Brooklyn
Side B engineered by Monte Vallier at Ruminator Audio in San Francisco
All photos by Ben Wilson
1. The Fall
5. Sand & Stone