ALBUM REVIEW: Slow Steve – Adventures

Here’s a piece I wrote for Vulture Hound a little while back. Find it on the site here: http://vulturehound.co.uk/2016/05/slow-steve-adventures-album-review/

Slow Steve have come up with a debut album that is easy-going, yet all the while beguiling to the ears. Dip your toes into Adventures, or dive right in. Whatever. This album is a fantasy-infused treat – something intriguing and clever. Whether you want to take something very small from it or go all in for a fully immersive trip, Adventures has got you covered.

There’s no clear direction but that’s half the charm of this album. Slow Steve, featuring former Ex-Fenster member Rémi Letournelle, churn out an array of melodies that are quite simply in a world of their own. Lead single ‘Sloth’ is a super chill number that hints at the overall idea of Adventures while still leaving room for surprises. Among the rest of the tracks this is probably the most accessible, it’s the track that’s going to grab attention from a number of differently inclined pairs of ears. Such tracks can often come under some kind of devaluation; the idea of a musician making a piece of music that is typically going to get people talking – something that’s just a catalyst for a money-making record. While very much true, who the hell really cares? A good song is a good song, something to be enjoyed, and if that’s by the masses then so be it. ‘Sloth’ is followed by ‘Bali’ as the album slips into something even more relaxed, a track that drifts the listener off into a dream world, floating among the clouds, but this song is by no means light and fluffy. Though delicate on the ears it glimmers with an enriched summer feeling, envisioning hanging out with friends on green grass under blue skies.

Letournelle’s French roots are brought to the surface in ‘Joséphine II (Rivière)’, spoken in his native tongue, almost as if at this point we have been invited into his mind. It’s worth noting that this music is very much inspired by science fiction and at times there are quite literally the kind of sounds you’d expect from classic sci-fi television shows and movies, but also some more subtle hints towards their inspirations that add a greater depth of meaning. The imagination goes wild as ‘The Giant Spider Crab from Japan’ comes in with just the kind of dark and looming feel you’d expect from its name. It’s a touch more industrial – less airy fairy, more nitty gritty, nevertheless soft on the ears.

It’s significant that through all the exploration in this album, we are gently guided through. It’s a pleasant walk through the vivid imagination of Slow Steve, no signs of being thrown into enigmatic turmoil here. Adventures is a curious thing of wonder, with a chilled out energy that flows through the soft pop sound of it all.

3/5

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