Shoegaze For My Old Friends

Slowdive “Star Roving”


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reverting back to my high school musical tastes in the current cultural environment. The last time a cis, white, male straw man was blasting through the human rights policy and financial practices that will dictate my quality of life for decades after he dies like some sort of Baby Taz, I was a teen with a first generation iPod and unlimited suburban roads to drive down while playing it. And there’s a specific comfort I’m finding in the familiarity of playing the music I listened to during my peak adolescent angst era now that I am no longer a teen—because I’m definitely angsty again. Take the other night, for example. Apropos of nothing (other than my mood), I pulled up Bright Eyes’ “You Are the Roots That Sleep Beneath My Feet and Hold the Earth in Place” on Spotify and listened approvingly. “This still bangs,” I thought (and meant, and tweeted).

That… would not have been true twelve months ago.

Or this morning, when British shoegaze band Slowdive spontaneously released their first song in 22 years. It does the exact same job:

It’s the sonic equivalent of cramming five people onto someone’s mom’s after school basement couch and smiling at a boy you’re not sure you like yet—optimistic and uncomfortable and instantaneously nostalgic even though you’re not old enough to know what you’re nostalgic for yet.

There are certain points in my life where I’ve been able to say “here is a moment” before I really understand what the moment is. “I don’t know where I am, but it’s new and it’s important.” Right now feels like one of those in a lot of ways, and this song sounds a lot like that feeling. Damn.