Listening to “Wide Eyed” on repeat, the question was asked, “If Slowlights announced a tour that included a local performance, what same-night concert would prompt us to miss Slowlights?” We were hard pressed to name a band that still has all of its original members (The Beatles and Bob Marley would top all lists, but those appearance aren’t possibilities).
Slowlights make texturing mandatory by raising expectations. That is, listening to a track from the London-based band is unfair to the next band on the playlist, since that next band shouldn’t be expected to match the sophisticated complexity. Slowlights texture and layer without creating a soundscape that is too busy or forced.
“Wide Eyed” begins cinematically. A slow building “hovering” and base line are soon joined by simple, spaced piano chords played with percussive force. The song explosion occurs at the 1:23 mark. The piano leads the explosion, with a major assist from the percussion. The remainder of the track is dynamic, as it follows a path with spectacular features. Perhaps the most interesting feature enters at 1:56, when a nearly camouflaged sound makes a brief visit. That sound channels a Beatles’ song, but we can’t identify which one. The closest we come is “Baby You’re a Rich Man”” where a monophonic keyboard (a clavioline) is set in its oboe setting. Dan Clark (vocals) described the inspiration:
“'Wide Eyed' is about getting lost on a night out in Manchester and was written out of the blue in a sound check."
The four members of Slowlights are Dan Clark, Bill Dukelow, Tim Hillier Brook, and Stephen Dukelow. The band has toured with Eliza and the Bear, which also includes a Dukelow (lead guitarist Martin Dukelow).