Slow Club have changed. The duo was once known for rickety, rollicking indie pop, but over the years Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor have shifted into something more substantial, engrossing, but no less enticing.
‘Complete Surrender’ – the group’s third album, proper – isn’t quite the huge leap some have billed it as. But in terms of conception and execution, it’s quite possibly Slow Club’s finest hour to date.
‘Tears Of Joy’ is a wonderfully soulful opener, with Taylor’s vocal tied to some exquisite, Motown-style brass. ‘Suffering You, Suffering Me’ has an immediacy that recalls those early days, while ‘Not Mine To Love’ is vivid, open and frank songwriting.
Much of ‘Complete Surrender’ deals with complex emotional issues, with the tangled remains of a relationship. Packed with self-doubt, regret and more than a little anger, what shines through is a pride in artistry, the belief that art can focus and transgress those feelings.
Perhaps the title cut is the true key to the record as a whole. Martial, empowered drums open ‘Complete Surrender’ before giving way to strings that almost have a Philly soul or early disco feel. It’s direct, unflinching and explicitly pop: rarely have Slow Club sounded this full, this bold.
Words: Robin Murray
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Listen to ‘Complete Surrender’ in full via Deezer, below…