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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Light and Airy | “chained to a cloud” by Slowdive

Light+and+Airy+%7C+%E2%80%9Cchained+to+a+cloud%E2%80%9D+by+Slowdive

A group characterized as a staple shoegaze band, Slowdive has long been praised for their dreamy, ambient, fuzzy and lively sound that blasts you into outer space. Their latest album, everything is alive, pays homage to their previous works but with a refined and respected mannerism.

With this record, the band takes a step back from the high-gain, heavily distorted guitars and approaches the listener with an airier sound. This was a refreshing aspect of this album in general, but their new touches are especially prevalent on “chained to a cloud.”

While I was immediately drawn in by the overall production and ambiance of the song, what interested me further were the emotional lyrics and build that effectively created a mood of anticipation. It is one thing to have a well-produced, beautiful song, but it is another thing to create one that provokes emotion in the listener. This provided a very three-dimensional outlook within the song.

But if we put aside the band’s mature new style and sound and turn to the lyrics, we see an increasingly interesting side of the band. While not particularly complex, the lyrics are vastly open-ended and ask important questions that the listener can interpret in a personal way. This means that the song can mean something completely different to every single listener, which I think is extraordinarily special and unique, and allows the listener to fully interact with the song on a deeper level. Neil Halstead, vocalist and lyricist, spoke to MOJO about the band’s refreshing perspective, “Being really vague isn’t unusual for us. We never come into it with a concept, and I don’t really know what the record is about, or most of the songs.Halstead provides the lyrics in the two choruses, but these stood out to me in particular:

“Did you really understand /
Falling down to the beginning? /
Did you see it’s all real?”

Once again, the mysterious nature of these lyrics goes a long way to evoke introspection, which, I would argue, is a gift to their listeners. “chained to a cloud” is well-produced, with interesting takes on instrumental beats along with a beautiful build of anticipation; it also provides a chance for self-reflection — but that part is up to you.

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About the Contributor
Ian Randall
Ian Randall, Writer
Ian Randall (He/Him) is an advertising management major at Michigan State. In his free time, he can be found bent over his guitar or playing Red Dead Redemption II. His favorite films are Top Gun and Napoleon Dynamite, and he frequently listens to Megadeth, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen and Tame Impala.  “A tout le monde, a tout mes amis, je vous aime, je dois partir.” - Megadeth

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