The original version of “Shine” from Slowdive’s “Holding Our Breath” EP is a treasure. Their entire catalog has its own place inside my bloodstream. There’s a lot of living that brought me to this remix.
I found shoegaze music in high school. I heard Slowdive on a UK compilation. Pre-Internet in the early 90s, I got curious about similar bands like Ride, Catherine Wheel, and My Bloody Valentine via magazines, record shops, and college radio. The dreamy echoing and fuzzy lyrics became inspiration.
I fell in deep, mutual love with someone 2 months into freshman year of college. We were on the same map of the same geography course. He liked punk and ska. I was into indie rock and local bands. We grew into each others’ collections.
We frequented a store off-campus that catered to wide-eyed/-eared music fans. We adventured through shoegaze, trip-hop, electronic and Britpop, unearthing life-changing music. Lush, Tricky, Echobelly, Cocteau Twins, UNKLE… ethereal resonance, drums bouncing off dorm walls, loud guitars… these bands offered sounds I didn’t know I needed.
He and I were together through college and married after graduation. One day he brought home a soundtrack to a movie we hadn’t seen (“Splendor”). It had Air, Blur, Chapterhouse, Chemical Brothers… a perfect mix of music we had explored in college. It also had a remix of a Slowdive song I didn’t think I could love more…
…Ugh. I can’t romanticize this further. We divorced amicably. He only left behind a Dead Milkmen cassette. My memories are songs and some photographs. 7 years together has been 16 years ago.
I’ll take the escape of this music any day. My ex-husband taught me unconditional care when I was falling apart. I initiated the letting go. I can barely write about my mindset then but I’m learning as I live. I love that music can comfort and recall better days. I love that I had someone to explore the beautiful, murky depths of this Slowdive track with me (and so many amazing bands) when I didn’t know I was drowning.
(Song recommendation by K Weber)