Song of the Day: Slowdive “Rutti”
Shoegaze pioneers, Slowdive, kicked off their 1995 LP, Pygmalion (named for the play by George Bernard Shaw) with the shimmering and minimalist “Rutti”. The track is built around a subtle guitar figure and gentle vocal from principle songwriter Neil Halstead who is eventually joined by a second guitar played by the band’s other singer, Rachel Goswell. This is then joined by a gentle, cymbal and brush-forward drum pattern and quiet bass drone. Things are rounded out with some ambient sound flourishes that add an intoxicating texture to proceedings in a way that recalls late career Talk Talk.
Pygmalion was the decisive artistic statement from co-band-leaders Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell: a record that was less pop-focused than their sophomore breakthrough LP, Souvlaki, but far wider in its reach. The band focused on delicately sculpting electronic textures around their shimmering guitars, imbuing the whole record with a lush though slightly otherworldly resonance.
The album proved to be the group’s last for many years, with the band disbanding shortly after dropping Pygmalion. Fortunately, the band reformed in 2017, releasing a triumphant new LP (entitled simply, Slowdive) and touring extensively. The reunion has held and Slowdive remains a formidable touring act. Here is hoping that there is still more new music to come from this formidable and dynamic group.