Slow Crush: a New Gaze towards hope
“Where Aurora was quite upbeat and happy with the nuance of sadness, Hush is a little bit darker and gloomier but with a nuance of hope.”Isa Holliday, Slow Crush
Captivating listeners and critics alike since the release of Aurora (September 2018), Slow Crush find specificity in the intersection of shoegaze, dream pop, post-rock and ambient music. The English-Belgian quartet suffers no sophomore slump with their second full-length LP, as Hush (October 2021) demonstrates the vast scope of their numinous sound.
Ever entranced by the soaring reverb of DIIV’s Deceiver (2019) and Holy Fawn’s Death Spells (2018), it was only a matter of time before a few Hush tracks appeared in my Spotify recommendations. Isa Holliday (vocals/bass) offers a tender legato to the lush layers of Jelle Harde Ronsmans (guitar) and Jeroen Jullet (guitar), as Frederik Meeuwis(drums) propels each track to new heights. “Drown” and “Gloom” carry notes into echoing, meditative spaces without losing pace. The band ground their sweeping atmospherics in melody; “Swoon” runs with ’90’s alt-rock urgency before “Lull” crashes through waves of cymbals, slowly drifting away…
It’s this balanced sensibility that allows Slow Crush to write music for a new generation of shoegaze listeners. Following the success of Aurora, they embarked on a relentless tour with the likes of Soft Kill, Pelican, Torche and Gouge Away, gathering fans across the globe.
A lineup change, a new label, and the pandemic informed the songwriting on Hush, producing an album that manages to invert the buoyant themes of its predecessor without losing itself in despair. The music video for Hush’s titular track presents shadowy visuals of the occult, but sees its subject achieve liberation as Slow Crush reference filmmakers such as Ari Aster, and perhaps Robert Eggers (The VVitch, anyone?)
A sense of empowerment pervades their live performances, perfectly encapsulated by ‘Slow Crush Live at AB – Ancienne Belgique’. The set premiered on YouTube in April 2021, delivering tracks from Aurora with renewed fervour and style. This winter, the band brought their fizzing effects to live shows in Belgium before supporting Loathe around the UK. I had the pleasure of chatting with Isa about the making of Hush, navigating genre, recent live shows, their very own pedal, and much more. With plans to continue the Hush release tour in Europe and the US throughout Spring 2022, Slow Crush is set to be an enduring force in the alternative scene, reimagining the sparkling shoegaze of Slowdive and Cocteau Twins for the 21st century.
Click in to our interview with Isa below…
Here are our Slow Crush recommendations:
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