Hush by Slow CrushRelease date: October 22, 2021
Label: Church Road Records
Belgian shoegazers Slow Crush released their sophomore album Hush last month. Being way behind on a stack of reviews, I was also a bit delayed in parsing this fine new recording.
It is darkly shaded music, coloured in part by the menacing edges of the pandemic. Massive layers of gauzy dreamgaze mesh seamlessly with the harsher elements, all the while flirting with vocalist Isa Holliday’s airy voice. Songs were recorded between tours and two members left the band, but the group persevered to bring you a record that surpasses their debut.
Songs flit between themes of escaping reality and romanticism, but it’s the gorgeous sonic tapestry that truly entrances this listener. Do not listen without a good set of headphones, because that is how music like this is meant to be savoured.
Opening track ‘Drown’ veers for a short time into post rock with cosmic overtones. Its graceful swirls of melody and Isa’s sweet voice could easily place this in prime Slowdive territory.
‘Blue’ is a gnarled, fuzzy delight. Rather unexpectedly, the noise recedes around 3:00 and the song transforms into ambient beauty. ‘Swoon’ takes a while to get off the ground, but it launches into flight like a glider.
‘Gloom’ is a particular favourite, just a really gorgeous piece of work. Once again, thoughts of Rachel Goswell hover next to Isa’s stunning vocal turns. ‘Lull’ is anything but, just as your mind drifts off, noise shards penetrate your blissful haze and demand your full attention.
The final track ‘Bent and Broken’ barely exceeds three minutes and is one of the more accessible entries to this release, favouring the Secret Shine end of the shoegaze spectrum.
To sum it up, you can’t go wrong with this really good shoegaze album from a promising Belgian project. Recommended for followers of the aforementioned bands, plus anyone who likes a cool mashup of dream pop and shoegaze.