The physical distance between the duo has undoubtedly affected their signature style and chemistry, leading to a very comfortable follow-up to stylish predecessor Complete Surrender.
British duo Slow Club (Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson) has always written and sung in harmony, transmitting their emotions of heartache, turmoil, and longing from the same viewpoint. However, since 2009’s debut Yeah So, they have grown a little older and further apart, which is evident in One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Any More. Previous album Complete Surrender saw the duo take risks which led to a fulfilling, technically rich, and original sound, arguably portraying the height of their career, but a few things have changed since. Most importantly, the once Sheffield-based duo has now split to different cities and begun to transmit their own musical styles, leaning away from quirky indie.
‘Where The Light Gets Lost’ unfortunately isn’t punchy enough to open properly, but it does tell the listener a lot about what is to be expected over the next 50 minutes or so. The track sees Watson take the lead with his sultry, smooth vocals to set the tone for a reflective album full of heartache, longing, and regret – perhaps the response to Complete Surrender‘s more gutsy tones and great success. The main problem with ‘Where The Light Gets Lost’ is that the duo’s signature harmonies are pushed right to the back. Taylor’s part is light and almost inaudible; a lot more subtle than what the duo were once known for.
Lead single ‘Ancient Rolling Sea’ follows and again sees Watson at the forefront. It’s a bluesy track about upheaval and turmoil but full of hope and the offering of support, almost as if Watson chooses the beginning of the record to transmit feelings towards Taylor, declaring “I’ll always be by your side” and advising her to “take as much time as your need to decide” as the pair grow physically more distant. Appropriately, Taylor leads subsequent track ‘In Waves,’ released as the album’s second single. Her lower vocals aren’t as refined as on their previous work, but their character gives her sound a much more mature feel.
It is throughout ‘Give Me Some Peace’ where Taylor’s vocals really shine, with its swaying gospel backdrop a welcome addition to the album’s sound. Her vocals soar through the track in harmony with the band, building up to give it more depth and substance while using the band’s full potential to give more depth to her own lyrics and emotions, allowing her to belt her hard, emotional lyrics; something she succeeded in on Complete Surrender.
Taylor’s heavier lyrics and soft tone are portrayed again in ‘The Jinx,’ a track that, when linked with ‘Tattoo Of The King,’ reiterates the fact that Watson and Taylor are not as close as they used to be, but have refined their own sounds and styles. In the latter, Watson returns with more light-hearted lyrics and a light disco sound, all of which contrast ‘The Jinx,’ in which Taylor makes herself more vulnerable as she sings over a slow, more subtle backdrop that progressively becomes heavier as it fills with turmoil and emotion.
The 11-minute track ‘Let The Blade Do The Work,’ which includes the hidden title track, concludes the album well as its two halves mirror each other and are bridged with ethereal chords, evoking the sounds of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Watson tackles the first half while Taylor takes on the second, again highlighting the distance between them, but this time it works to show that there is still a link.
The first half of One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore is draining and confusing as both members of Slow Club struggle to find harmony between each other but use very similar musical styles which slowly become repetitive – an issue they have never faced before on previous records. From ‘Give Me Some Peace’ onwards, the remainder has some more noteworthy tracks, but by the time the listener gets there they’re slightly emotionally drained, making it all the more difficult to pick out and appreciate the work put into their fourth record.
One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore is out now via Moshi Moshi Records