Dreamy gazey indie space rockers Slowness present their single ‘Berlin’, along with new video filmed by band member Geoffrey Scott. This is the second single from their long-awaited ‘Berths’ album, following up ‘Rose’. On June 7, this long-awaited album will be released on vinyl and digitally via Schoolkids Records, who is taking 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. 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. 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,” says Geoffrey Scott.
He elaborates on the video: “First there’s tension in the stasis of both the camera and the people waiting on the opposite platform. Then the train begins to move and pick up speed, eventually leaving the platform and the people on it, and goes into the tunnel. And then that express train comes along offering an up-close-and-personal view of New Yorkers enduring yet another commute, perhaps after a series of delays… This shot I took, which was a fortunate mistake for the sake of a music video, was totally voyeuristic and unethical, and I’m guilty of everything I deplore these days. Everyone has a camera and abuses it to no end because there are no rules anymore. There’s little consideration and no privacy, and yet we all condone it and, in different ways, participate.”
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 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.
“The surveillance we all live under now is so wrapped up in the very workings of day to day life that our sense of entrapment is normalized. It is hard to imagine what the light at the end of the tunnel looks like when the invasive eye is part of government, business, and basic social interaction has become voyeuristic on an unprecedented scale. And yet tunnels always lead somewhere away from the starting point and, to quote James Baldwin, I am a prisoner of hope.”
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.
Both singles – ‘Berlin’ and ‘Rose’ – are available across online stores like iTunes and streaming platforms like Spotify. The full ‘Berths’ album will be released on June 7 with the band kicking it off in style with the three following separate release shows:
June 7 San Diego – The Whistle Stop (8:30 pm) with SteilaCoom, Battery Point and Fawns of Love
June 8 Los Angeles – Hotel Cafe (10pm) with SteilaCoom and Fawns of Love
June 12 San Francisco – The Make-out Room (6:45pm) with Fawns of Love, SteilaCoom and Forest Bees
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
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