Slowdive are a British rock band that formed in Reading, Berkshire, in 1989. The band consists of Rachel Goswell on vocals, guitar and keyboard, Neil Halstead on vocals and guitar, Christian Savill on guitar, Nick Chaplin on bass guitar, and Simon Scott on drums, all of whom played on the band's debut studio album, Just for a Day . Halstead is the band's primary songwriter.
The band is one of the most prominent within the shoegaze scene, which rose to prominence in the UK during the early 1990s. While the band's second studio album, Souvlaki , received mixed reviews upon release, it has since been recognized as one of the best releases of the 1990s and one of the greatest shoegaze albums of all time. The band broke up soon after the release of their third studio album, Pygmalion, in 1995, having seen Scott, Savill and Chaplin depart the band prior. The remaining members continued under a more folk and country-influenced direction as Mojave 3.
Slowdive reunited in 2014 to play the Primavera Sound festival and released a self-titled studio album in 2017, their first in 22 years. The band's fifth studio album, Everything Is Alive, was released in 2023 and became Slowdive's first top ten album in any country, doing so in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Slowdive were formed in Reading, England, by Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell in October 1989. The two sang and played guitar, and had been friends since they were 6 years old. At a Sunday youth group, they began making music in an indie pop band called the Pumpkin Fairies, with bassist Mike Cottle and drummer Adrian Sell. When the Pumpkin Fairies disbanded, Slowdive formed, also including drummer Adrian Sell and Sell's friend, bassist Nick Chaplin. A third guitarist named Christian Savill, previously of the band Eternal, joined when he became the only person to answer an advert from the band. The ad called for a female guitarist, but Savill wanted to join so badly he offered to wear a dress. He was subsequently recruited. The name "Slowdive" was inspired by a dream Chaplin experienced, and a conversation he had with Goswell, who mentioned "Slowdive", the name of a single by one of her favourite bands, Siouxsie and the Banshees. Goswell later said that she was outvoted for the choice of the name in the end.
The band quickly recorded a demo and several months later played a show with the band Five Thirty. Steve Walters, head of A&R at EMI, attended the show. Afterward, he approached Savill and requested one of their demos. Slowdive signed a recording contract with Creation Records shortly after. The average age of the band was 19 at the time. Sell felt things were progressing too fast and left for university after being in the band for about six months.
A self-titled EP was released in November 1990 and received praise from music critics. Slowdive was actually their original demo; the band had preferred the older recordings after feeling disillusioned with their studio craft. In a glowing recommendation, NME staff member Simon Williams wrote "Slowdive have banished the barrier restricting creativity... When they really relax, Slowdive can make Cocteau Twins sound like Mudhoney". Melody Maker awarded the EP its "Single of the Week" award, an accolade the band's next two EPs received.
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