By Declan Roberts (@DeclanMR)
Outift’s first record, Performance, was a breakthrough for the band, scoring critical acclaim from the lofty heights of NME to indie-facing tastemakers The Line of Best Fit and Stereogum. It also contained some bonafide gems including ‘Thank God I Was Dreaming’, in which vocalist Thomas Gorton croons the line “don’t look back”. It’s a sentiment they’ve taken to heart on their follow-up ‘Slowness’. Here, the band slip away from the bold majestic anthems of ‘Performance’ and hit a synth-pop avalanche.
‘New Air’ draws you in with popping bass lines and sharp piano tones, the guitar drenched in reverb while the chorus echoes, evocative of New Order and early Everything Everything. The piano-led melodies are prevalent at the beginning of the album, particularly on the title track and ‘Smart Thing’, the latter being a gorgeous upbeat track twisting and turning through glitches and fuzziness. Lead single ‘Genderless’ opens with an instrumental reminiscent of Moby’s ‘Porcelain’ or ‘Go’, but carries a 50-second home stretch of scuzzy synth.
The highlight of the album are two later tracks, the blissfully surreal electronics of ‘On The Water, On The Way’ and closer ‘Swam Out’, which brings the album full circle with the similar high tempo lines of ‘New Air’ but with an edge of futuristic melodies and doom-rock. These provide a breath of fresh air for what seems to be a fitting return.