Sometimes, the sum of a group’s parts is easy to make the focus of how you frame them. While the story behind how The Soft Cavalry is a sweet and endearing one, the fact that Rachel Goswell of Slowdive fell for the band’s reunion tour manager and started a new project with him shouldn’t be the focus here. This project is solid enough to stand on its own feet. Mixing shoegazed tones and alterna-folk structures, the duo makes the kind of gently touched sounds you wished you heard more of on the self-titled debut.
In many ways, it’s the tonal spacing here that intertwines with soft handed vocals that makes what you’re hearing so special. The airy touches on the opening track “Dive” finds a way to hold your ears as it bounces between genres and creates its own sound. In some moments its as if Pink Floyd made a modern album and in others its as if Folk Implosion did the same. In reality, this is its own thing. “Passerby” takes tension and depth to a new space, gardening its own pasture of crops that will bear goods in the way of soft and slowly built up melody. “Never Be Without You” offers listeners a sunny pop track where the undercurrent of folk and twee are faint, yet they’re still present enough to not dismiss.
The entire release is rife with songs that find their own footing. There’s an organic feel to how each track is laid out without ever having the feel that it was planned further than what the songs are on their own. “Only In Dreams” lets the piano lead the way into a tender soft pop track, “Spiders” has the darkness of a dark electronica track without really going that route and “The Light That Shines On Everyone” has the honesty of what it is, an easy going song that beams with brightness. But with all of that, it’s how the two intermingle vocals together like they were meant to, how they craft songs that live in their own ethos and how it all feels like something that should have always existed, but never really did until this album was released. The difference between how The Soft Cavalry sounds and everything else out right now, is that this album feels like it wouldn’t have happened without the sum of its parts being involved.
The Soft Cavalry is available to stream on all platforms, it can be purchased digitally in all online music stores or it can be purchased physically directly from Bella Union. The Soft Cavalry is set to perform in Bristol, UK at Rough Trade Bristol tonight.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Bella Union.