- Alison Green
- Slowdive at the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival
In his Soundboard capsule for Slowdive’s sold-out show on Thursday night at the Vic, Kevin Warwick refers to the band’s 1993 album Souvlaki as their masterpiece. He’s right that it’s the band’s best and probably their most heralded album, but don’t overlook the 1995 album Pygmalion. A weightless, lightly drummed album of looping liquid guitars, echoing female vocals, and painkiller-slow tempos, it foreshadows many experimental-indie artists of the last five years, including Julianna Barwick, Grouper, and countless other bands reliant on breathy female vocal loops and sun-kissed guitar licks. Yet unlike many albums by their descendants, Pygmalion has a recognizable arc and at times a darker vibe, at least until “Blue Skied an’ Clear,” the album’s gorgeous high point. It’s the moment on Pygmalion when you can most clearly hear Slowdive’s shoegaze beginnings, and it’s quite possibly the apex of the band’s career. Listen to it below, regardless of whether or not you’re going to the show on Thursday.