Slowcore was a music genre that spanned the 90’s and has been severely underrated. While often labelled as the antithesis to grunge, because of their bleak sound and slower tempos, the movement in fact laid the foundation for many fledgling genres such as post-rock and lo-fi. The seminal moment was when the band Low turned their music down, and so put the responsibility in the audience’s hands to enter the music’s world. For slowcore focused on the moment more than the release. Each band incorporated their own space in the spectrum to focus on their own personal struggles, yet accumulated together an unassuming yet chilling array of music.
Though, not strictly part of the slowcore movement, this short-lived band in the late 80’s lade the foundations for what was to come. Heavily, influenced by the Velvet Underground, they incorporated simple chords, toneless vocals and mundane lyrics to forge a new rock image, untainted by rock-and-roll’s traditionally brash masculinity.
Their debut album Frigid Stars is probably the most acclaimed slowcore album. Codeine’s songs ooze with grief and submission, while also counterbalanced by throbbing guitar fuzz.
Perhaps the most successful of slowcore bands, the band is still very active today and released a very well received album in 2011. The married couple focus on harmonies and an overwhelmingly soft sound.
This band preferred the dreamy acoustic sound, and stood above the rest with singer Mark Kozelek’s meditative lyrics.
This Texan band gave a more upbeat version of slowcore yet still vocalizing in a whisper. The riff of this song is mesmeric.
The prolific Bill Callahan has mingled with many genres, but his most heart-wrenching songs are of the simplest fingerpicking, and bluntest lyrics.
Though she is now recognized for her bluesy numbers, Cat Power started as a very moody short-haired woman tainted by family grief and addiction.