Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

The Only Goth In The Village: Rachel Goswell’s Favourite Albums

Ahead of their performance at this year’s Green Man festival, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell talks to Julian Marszalek about being the only goth in the village, the enduring power of the voice and why pen pals and fan clubs are beautiful things.

Rachel Goswell sighs with resignation as she acknowledges, with no little and justified irritation, that the 30th anniversary of Slowdive’s defining album, Souvlaki, is being passed over in favour of yet another celebration of Britpop.

“Of course it won’t get mentioned. I don’t think any of those people particularly liked Slowdive first time around,” she says of those detractors still following a narrowly defined narrative. “We didn’t even get C-listed on 6 Music with [this year’s single] ‘Kisses’ and that kind of says it all really. But we recognise that we’ve never been a remotely popular band in the UK. It’s frustrating but it is changing. My eyes are rolling at the all the Britpop stuff. It’s like, really?”

And yet, perversely, it’s this attitude that has been fuel for Slowdive. A band out of time, they’ve avoided being preserved in a particular kind of aspic as their dreamy, blissful and frequently ecstatic music – oh, go on! Call it ’shoegaze’, if you must – weaves its away across the decades to find new audiences. Indeed, since reforming in 2014, Slowdive have swept up a new generation of fans while garnering the kind of retrospective reviews and re-assessments that sound more like apologies than anything else. Central to Slowdive’s continued existence is the release of new music, firstly with 2017’s eponymous album and their forthcoming fifth album, Everything Is Alive. And just as importantly, relations are going swimmingly within the band as they take their music across the UK, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

“Yeah, it’s much more enjoyable now, I think, for multiple reasons,” says Goswell. “I think on a personal level, the angst of the 90s Souvlaki-era particularly and Pygmalion, none of that’s there anymore. And I think we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company and get on.”

She continues: “The audience reactions are amazing, really. There are a lot of young kids in our audiences, which there has been since we came back. We’ve always noticed it. But I think that, maybe it’s because we’re even older now, that it’s even more noticeable how many young the people are down the front. I definitely feel like mother!”

As she readies herself to take the stage with Slowdive at this weekend’s Green Man festival in the lush surroundings of Bannau Brycheiniog in south Wales, the Rachel Goswell that discusses her favourite albums is lit by the same enthusiasm that drove her early years as a teenage music fan and it’s difficult not to be swept up with her.

Slowdives’s Everything Is Alive is out on 1st September via Dead Oceans. They play the Far Out stage at this year’s Green Man Festival – for more information, go here. Please click the image below to begin reading Rachel Goswell’s selections.

First Record

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