This Week in Music: Slowdive, a French Popstar, and Jesus in India

As a fan of the great shit that Captain Bee Fart loads onto his channel, today I stumbled upon this work of magnificence:

Is the entire album as brilliant as I suspect? I have no idea, cuz I can’t stop replaying Trip Out and The Sound of Dillusion. But I will tell you this: This is some of my favorite stuff since the Allah-Las’ first album and the Corners’ Maxed out on Distractions. Its influences are the usual suspects in psych (From The Doors and The 13th Floor Elevators to Spacemen 3), plus shit like Joy Division and The Jesus and Mary Chain, with some sitar . . . . kind of Brian Jonestown Massacrey, but equally vitally original and entirely its own.

I also can’t stop listening to Slowdive’s self-titled album, their first in 22 years. The first song I heard was this live version of Sugar for the Pill:

What got me first was the bassline. The second thing was the drums. When the chorus came in, I was done for. The harmony between Neil and Rachel, the poignant guitar, those awesome drums elevating the chill. It reaffirmed my belief that you can get the band back together with class. (In the last year I’ve seen the reunited Echo and the Bunnymen and Poptone [two members of Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets], and they’ve been some of the most enjoyable shows I’ve been to. Will I go see Slowdive when I’m in Athens? I’ll have to get a feel for the city before I decide. But I’ll definitely be seeing them in Chicago in November, for the third time at least.)

The studio version of Sugar for the Pill is a different experience–bigger and broader like the entire album–with even more nuances that grab me.

The album as a whole is a big, beautiful, expansive substance that’s like the composition of the universe. That’s why Slowdive has always been called ethereal, and I swear to God they inhabit themselves as Slowdive more than ever on this album. The opening song lifts me out of gravity:

Another of my favorites is No Longer Making Time. A pop tune if Slowdive were poppy. I love the guitar, and again, Simon Scott is really doing it for me on drums.

When I first heard Falling Ashes, I thought, “This is beautiful.” As it progressed, I was astounded. I have since spent many an hour lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, listening to this. How it captures the emotional landscape of suffering and loss, and how it heals. It’s called Falling Ashes, and it is the phoenix, lifting, releasing, reigniting your soul.

This is an album that knows that life is not easy, but doesn’t forget that it’s beautiful.

Finally, over the weekend I discovered that this song is back on YouTube. It’s the theme for the magnificent suspense thriller by Guillaume Canet, which, by the way, is its own Falling Ashes, with its own resurrection. If you haven’t seen it, please make sure you do.

The guy who did this is French popstar Matthieu Chedid, also known as M. In contrast to this moving composition, another of my favorite songs of his Onde Sensuelle. It’s a shame the official video isn’t on YT right now, but here’s a still from it cuz it’s awesome. You can click the still (or here) to watch the video on a Bulgarian site:


Years ago on Canadian TV, I saw one of the craziest things I’d ever seen. It was a music video of a cat who looked a hell of a lot like M, dressed in a bee suit and buzzing around in front of a surreal backdrop kind of like the Teletubbies. If you have any idea what that was, please let me know.


About Erin Harris

I'm a copywriter by day and a fiction writer by night. I also write about food, travel, music, film, and much more.
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