SLOWNESS will release their second LP, How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain,on June 3, 2014. The record was produced by Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon, Wax Idols) and Geoffrey Scott, and was mastered by Kramer (Low, Galaxie 500). It will be released on vinyl through Blue Aurora Audio and will be distributed digitally through Bandcamp, iTunes, andAltone. The band will kick of a European tour to support the record in Leipzig, Germany on June 13, 2014.
Slowness was formed in San Francisco in 2008 by Julie Lynn and Geoffrey Scott. The EP Hopeless but Otherwise was released in 2011. After touring America, the group began work on the LP, For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full, released in March 2013. How to Keep from Falling off a Mountain was written and recorded by Lynn and Scott in San Francisco and New York City (with Lynn on bass, keys and vocals; Scott on guitar, keys, and vocals) and features Scott Putnam on drums (with Christy Davis taking the album’s final track, “Anon, part IV”), Greg Dubrow on bass, Kelly Kyle on pedal steel, and Christopher Shane, Dave Voigt, and Sean Eden (Luna) on guitars.
Sound & Vision
This is a new proposal to the current more melancholic and romantic rockers who dream back in time at least 20 years to relive those days when MTV’s 120 minutes was on of its greatest directors and and Creation Records it’s largest supplier.
The Big Takeover (by Jack Rabid)
Steve Holtje’s rave issue 70 review of this sublime San Francisco group’s debut Hopeless, But Otherwise EP alerted me to one of the great undiscovereds in contemporary moody effects-driven rock. That perception is enhanced on Slowness’s first album, an absolute gorgeous beaut. With the welcome shoegaze revival blooming/booming, here’s an incredibly ethereal band that is not shoegaze at all—just a sympathetic cousin. Much like the 30-year Nebraska band they most, uncannily resemble, For Against (especially “The Glass”), they use a steady, understated, anchor beat, loping, limber basslines, and then, momentously, spiderweb guitar parts that circle, tickle, chime, ring, and repeat, looping into peacefully mesmeric riffs. Thus, they have more in common with not only For Against, but The Feelies, Murmur R.E.M., the “Beginning to See the Light” Velvets, Chills (the last two a connection a perceptive Holtje discerned), and ’80s Brit postpunk than dreampop—even if the effect is as dreamy, beautiful, and—with Geoffrey Scott’s breathy, airy vocals leading the way—greatly affecting. All 35 minutes of For Those mollifies in timeless, nun-rushed hypnotic spells like light rain on an otherwise bright day. (E.g., the lite-psych of “Calm & Dispel,” not far from where 2–era Darker My Love left us down L.A.-way in 2008.) Glass half full? Not even close! This one’s overflowing with magic potions.
The New York Deli (Natacha Pavlov)
Two years after the release of their debut EP, San Franciscan bandSlowness returns with their first full-length LP, the alluring and addicting For Those Who Wish To See The Glass Half Full. Singer Geoffrey Scott, bassist Julie Lynn, and drummer Scott Putnam deliver eight hypnotic drone pop-shoegaze tracks set to a dreamy atmosphere and succinct lyrics that trigger pleasant familiarity. The album, although brief, doesn’t lessen the impression that you’ve floated away into aural ecstasy. The optimistic “Day For Night” starts off with an upbeat, infectious beat that leads to an intense outro, before mellowing-out in “The Glass.” Anti-political undertones are heard in the catchy anthem “Energy” and the entrancing, melancholic “Calm & Dispel.” The sluggish “Repeater” channels a lethargic vibe that paves the way for a gradual, two-minute long airy outro, contrasting the upbeat intensity of “Wired.” The journey ends with the visionary invitation to “Race To Mars” and the beautifully moody “Walls of Blue.”
With a polished sound that breeds intimacy and nods to many great 80’s bands, Slowness proves that their realm is one to get lost into… rapidly.
Clank for Breakfast: The Wish to see the Glass Half Full (by Breda Massman)
After their EP “Hopeless But Otherwise” (2011) and a split vinyl single in 2012 with Dead Leaf Echo, San Francisco’s Slowness now serve their full-length debut: “For Those Who Wish To See The Glass Half Full” (available digitally and on LP). Co-produced by Monte Vallier (Young Prisms, The Soft Moon) and mastered by Kramer (Galaxie 500, Low), the sound menu offers a sparkling, delightful and varied blend of shoegaze, indie and drone pop. Formed in 2008, Slowness aka Geoffrey Scott (guitars, vocals), Julie Lynn (bass, vocals, keyboard) and Scott Putnam (drums, vocals) orchestrate a glorious waterfall of embracing melodies that are cleverly bedded in a sea of hazy, psychedelic and yearning champagne. Geoffrey took the time to answer a bunch of questions.
The Process Records (by Chris Parsons)
February 2013 has us anticipating the debut LP release from San Francisco’sSlowness, “For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full,” set for official release on 2/14, though pre-orders are being sent out as early as today! The eight tracks of shoegazer-tailored dream pop is a follow up to 2011′s “Hopeless But Otherwise” EP. Much like their partners-in-crime, Dead Leaf Echo, Slowness tediously took their time (spanning over a couple years) to put all the pieces together in terms of ideas for songwriting and performing, so as to ensure the quality of their first full-length was totally up to their standards. And you can tell in every subtle detail that this album has been tended to with an attitude of intent [for vinyl], striving to aurally illustrate a masterpiece of interwoven auras blending into a surreal collage of sounds.
RAVE Magazine: Hopeless but Otherwise Review (by Madeleine Laing)
The My Bloody Valentine comparisons don’t stop at a tendency for perfectionism. Hopeless… also has a heavy dose of washed out shoegaze and intriguing darkness that asks new questions with every listen. There’s also a hint of more modern artful indie types, especially Deerhunter, in the meandering melancholy and ringing lead guitar of EP highlight Black and White. Their heavier moments are just as compelling, Slowboat building from a sparsely droning intro to a full-on static assault, a pretty lead line keeping it from devolving into noise. In a time off immediate, catchy-or-die garage rock, it’s great to see a band doing slowly winding five-minute-plus songs that are worthwhile and absorbing, taking their time to reveal hidden secrets.
The Signal and Noise- Latest Addiction: The New Slowness EP (by Keith Axline)
The new EP from San Francisco’s Slowness, Hopeless but Otherwise, is an intense trip beyond polar certainty and into a maze of melancholy. Truth is better in color, as the opening track “Black & White” declares, but it’s also messier that way: The band uses beautiful shoegaze guitar textures laid over ominous bass marches and driving drums to take the listener down some subconsious back alleys we all usually avoid.
While the sonic scenery may be dark, the band never leaves the listener’s side, guiding the way with points of catharsis to reveal the beauty in discomfort. Lyrically, Slowness walk the line between the political and personal, with the words equally fitting to a relationship as they would be to a protest; anger mixing with sober reflection. They call for reshaping institutions and decry “evil scheming lies,” but then recommend a “reckoning and levity.”
Not that you can really hear the words. The ethereal, male/female harmonies by bassist Julie Lynn and guitarist Geoffrey Scott are more an additional texture than mouthpiece. (Erik Gross plays drums on the record but the band has since found a new drummer, Scott Putnam.) The over all impression of this complex EP is that the band is just beginning. In some ways they’ve barely started on what promises to be an epic journey into drones unknown. I highly recommend spending some quality time with the songs and checking Slowness out next time they play. They are a gleaming jewel in San Francisco’s indie tiara.
The Big Takeover: Issue 70 (by Steve Holtje)
This is a contemporary San Francisco band, but I’d have guessed something from New Zealand a couple of decades ago if not for the looped rhythm closing the last track. Their PR cites shoegaze, but Slowness wields an edgier, starker, more primal style that sounds like it could be traced back to all those Kiwi bands that loved The Velvet Underground. The vocals range from flat affect to breathy nonchalance that floats not so much above as between jangly and fuzzy guitars tethered to the inexorable beat by hypnotically minimalist bass patterns. Slowness’ debut LP will soon appear; based on this four-song EP, I can’t wait!
When the Sun Hits: Interview v. 2: Geoffrey and Julie of Slowness
Slowness, based in California, consists of three members – Geoffrey Scott: guitars & vocals, Julie Lynn: bass, vocals & keys, and Scott Putnam: drums & vocals. The trio have been called “a gleaming jewel in San Francisco’s indie tiara” (by Signal to Noise), and we can certainly see why! Slowness is a relatively new band to hit When The Sun Hits’ radar (shame on us!), but as soon as we heard their hypnotic drone-pop, we all immediately fell in love and demanded they give us a track for The First 100,000 Compilation or ELSE. Ok, we asked nicely, but that is how excited we were about them! Their EP, Hopeless But Otherwise (which was just reviewed by Rob Turner HERE) blew us away. And that, gentle gazers, is how their beautiful track, “Little King”, became the compilation closer, and the story of how WTSH fell in love with the music of Slowness. Cheers.
Blue Aurora Audio: Review of Hopeless but Otherwise EP (by Ryan Lescure)
This record reminds me of early Low. It’s droning, it’s minimal…but in a way that reminds me of Spacemen 3’s “minimal is maximal” aesthetic. The cloud of guitar noise breaks as soon as the vocals come in, demonstrating one of the hallmarks of Hopeless But Otherwise: the impeccable contrast in dynamics. “Slowboat” is the track that I believe defines Slowness. The lyric “reject the past, protect the future” is repeated like a mantra. Despite the dystopian content, it’s relaxing. The song is centered by a beautiful, repeating bass riff that holds it all together. Imagine looking out the window as it gets pelted by raindrops…this is a San Francisco tune.
When the Sun Hits: Review of Hopeless but Otherwise EP (by Rob Turner)
The only reason this is getting a 4.7/5 rating (rather than higher) is because I wanted to leave room for Slowness to grow into an LP. Hopeless But Otherwise is an amazingly solid four song EP, and I want more!The first track, “Black & White”, sets the stage for what you know will be a great listening adventure. The chiming guitar into solid bass and drums, then the almost hypnotic vocals (the lyrics are very smart and well thought out, with an overall sense of warmth).
NewBandDay- Band of the Day (4.21.11) Slowness
Coincidently, I’ve been waiting almost a week to post about our new favorite Arizona Turk derived obsession….SLOWNESS! Yes it explains my posting strategy for April, but their music was well worth the wait. You know we love the local music scene in SF, but we’ve never put limits on our posts. We just find it fun to feature bands from our own music backyard, this market for some reason took a shit in the 90′s and 00′s and it’s just now having it’s moment…again. Drone rock can be fun, the shoegaze theme hasn’t really worn thin, but it’s the hipster version of a jam bands. It’s just darker arenas, less patchouli, and heavier distortion. We like to stick our nose down to our shoes to the Phishes of the world, but let’s be honest if you give them an amp and hair in their face you have Phish goes shoegaze. That being said Slowness takes the best of the genre and delivers a perfect EP. Harmonies, wailing whining guitars and eerie vocals. I liken their sound to one of our faves The Raveonettes, even Autoluxie a bit. Really a great band and I’d expect to hear Geoffrey Scott, Julie Lynn and Scott Putnam bouncing around the country and on the festival circuit very very soon.
NWShoegazing- Slower California* (by NWshoegazer)
Slowness first came to my attention when they responded to a comment I left on another band’s facebook page. Curious, I clicked on their profile picture and discovered, first, that Slowness is a Shoegaze band, and then, after listening to their debut EP Hopeless but Otherwise, that Slowness is a very good Shoegaze band. Two days later, I posted Vibrato 11.04, a compilation featuring “Black & White” – the first song on their EP, and now, a couple days after that, I am interviewing two of the band members: Geoffrey Scott and Julie Lynn. There really doesn’t seem to be anything slow about these guys.
The Blog that Celebrates Itself- Laser Guided Melodies with Slowness: An Interview
Q. When did Slowness form, tell us about the beginning…
A. Slowness formed with no name during the summer of 2008 in a house I was house-sitting in, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Julie was encouraging me to turn some guitar sketches into actual songs. And our friend Erik would come up to help me with the yard and the animals, and he brought his drums up and we started doing demos in this great big living room.
Q. What are the band’s influences?
A. There are so many. Aside from the obvious independent-alternative rock, we all love jazz and ambient and some classical and electronic experimental stuff too.
Q. Tell us about the recording process for the debut EP?
A. We shared our demos with our friend Conor and he suggested we record with Monte Vallier. We went in with about 11 songs. “Duck an Cover” we engineered on our own, in our rehearsal space, and did overdubs and vocals in our apartments. In the end, seven seemed to work, but after we mastered and pressed a bunch for a US tour, we came home feeling that only four really represented us well. So we re-mastered with Kramer and did a new pressing with new artwork and all. Now we’re finally really happy with it.
For Those Who Wish to See the Glass Half Full, LP, 2013: released by Blue Aurora Audio, 2013
Hopeless but Otherwise, self-released Debut EP, 2011