Artist: Slowly Slowly
Release Title: Daisy Chain
Release Date: 4 November 2022
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Digital Price: 5 AUD (3.56 USD)
Length: 39min 34s
Slowly Slowly are a band that was introduced to me by a dear friend. My taste in music is pretty diverse and that sometimes brings me round to indie rock – with Slowly Slowly, boy am I glad that happened. They’ve only been around since 2016 but they’ve been productive, as Daisy Chain is the fifth of several great releases in between reportedly excellent live shows. Released in November 2022, this is a strong release that you can sit and chill with, but it has enough emotional power for you to dwell on its messages too.
Lead vocalist Ben Stewart really shines throughout Daisy Chain. When we listen to the title track, we’re immediately hit with nothing but his voice and some light strumming. There’s a kind of frustration at the loops Ben sings about going through in life, but then there’s also a shade of hope that comes through when he’s singing about those little things that came through to save him. Vulnerability isn’t weakness, Ben seems to be telling us, because sometimes it’s those vulnerable or little things – like a daisy chain – that can save us.
Slowly Slowly really show off their skills with emotion and atmosphere with the track Turn it Around, which feels like one of those classic bangers about depression and emotional angst. There’s some hypnotic guitarwork that is layered nicely in a way that gives a feeling of heaviness, without them needing to pound guitars to get there. Then we have Ben’s Ville Valo-esque moment towards the end of the track, with those deeper, breathy vocals that just feel like mood.
Elsewhere Ben sounds distressed, like he’s in the middle of crisis mode. But when you listen along to the lyrics, despite sounding like the end of one’s world, there’s a whole different meaning here. Turn it Around is about that little moment of realization that in reality, hell isn’t forever – it’s a state we feel trapped in, that we can eventually move on from. ”I stayed low but, I think I’ll get up again” we hear – this isn’t in the midst of turmoil, it’s at the end of it. Through it all we have a banger of a track shorter than three minutes, one that you’ll listen to many times and enjoy all the more.
There’s some nice variety in Daisy Chain. There are bassy tracks that sound almost electronic like Nothing On that early on, give a nice house music sort of feel. Then the chorus hits and we hear that jangly, airy guitar that makes this a real bop of a track. Achilles’ Heel is a layered track with personal commentary, but also little touches of politics and the state of the music industry. It feels like the most positive attack ever, a kind of happy-angry superposition that Slowly Slowly does so well.
That political commentary continues on with God, a nice little track about the ultimate irrelevance of religious views. We’re here, on Earth, and whether deities or demons exist or not don’t matter, because “the core of it is right here, right now and I hope you notice it”. Something Slowly Slowly excel at is their ability to take two opposing states – happiness and sadness, toughness and vulnerability, looking great and feeling awful, religion and atheism – and synthesize them to arrive at a whole other position entirely. These are analysts who aren’t walking a fine line, they’re observing the differences and finding a way forward. Daisy Chain wants us to look beneath the surface. Along the way, there’s some upbeat punk rhythms, fun guitarwork, and skilful, emotional vocals.
I hope you enjoy Daisy Chain.