What can be said about HAVEMEYER‘s Slacker that accurately sums up just how beautifully composed it is? Perhaps I could talk about the way in which the melodies, chord choices, and just general accents and approaches to songwriting are put at the forefront and pick it apart from a more technical, music-theory-oriented point of view. Maybe I could even talk about all the sounds I hear and what it reminds me of; how it takes me back to better days and musical discoveries from my teen years. I could even talk about how the subject matter of the lyrics relates to and resonates with my own personal experiences.
Regardless what words I pen here today, know this – you are making a mistake if you pass up Slacker. Every piece of this album, down to its physical representation in artwork, is like a shoegazey dream come true, and one you can still repeat even while awake! On surface value, Slacker has more than enough to be appreciated and warmly welcomed through your ears, channeled through your nervous system, and quickly attached within your heart. But for me, it’s the minute details I observe while listening – the way this album treats the ears a way that the finest wine splashes upon the taste buds; I’ve got plenty to say about this record, but I’ll keep it brief.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way now – my favorite track, at least at the moment, is definitely “Headlines”. This song, as well as much of the album, absolutely takes me back to my first listens of Interpol‘s Turn On The Bright Lights, or even The xx‘s debut album. It’s got a great two-four, waltzy groove to the rhythm; alluring and hypnotic vocal melodies that will put you into a trance; and instrumental embellishments that pepper in and build in almost a minimalist sort of fashion, but growing with each measure and not being without its expanded atmosphere. A catchy chorus, a wavy tempo – I’m even slowly swaying back and forth in groove with the song as I type this! It’s almost got a reggae-esque style to its rhythm, come to think of it.
The dreamy, string-lights-running-across-trees-in-the-backyard-on-a-summer-night vibe doesn’t vanish one bit during the rest of the album. It won’t take you even five tracks to lose yourself in the haze of HAVEMEYER‘s rhythmic and melodic prowess, but when you start spinning “Moonlight”, it’s going to really take your soul places far away from your physical body – through time and space, even. As if “Wave It Off” and “Hold The Line” weren’t enough to carry you away, the gentle tides of “Moonlight”, “Breathless”, and “Swim” certainly will. “Moonlight”, in particular, is a track that has both a college party, urban feel to its sound, yet somehow reminds me of my days in the countryside, sitting by any given body of water with friends and nature and just having a blissful pause from the everyday stresses of life, just soaking in the moment. I think “Moonlight”, as well as much of the rest of Slacker, captures that essence perfectly.
‘Havemeyer evoke nostalgia and bring pure bliss to the listener, reminiscent of The Smiths, Interpol and Sonic Youth. They effortlessly weave together orchestral guitars and big pop moments while their powerful live energy creates a pristine wall of sound.‘
The band’s bio listed on their Bandcamp summarizes their aura quite adequately. The music presented in Slacker, as well as the sort of atmosphere HAVEMEYER create, is pure poetry. It goes beyond even its own cited influences. Even where elements reminiscent could be identified, HAVEMEYER simply possess a niche of their own. It has the sort of reverbed, somewhat-surfy, grainy musk of post-punk, while also blending all the breathtaking, haunting vibes seen in shoegaze, and additionally pairing in plenty of indie rock mainstays’ nostalgic tropes. It’s like a throwback to things you love, but still a step in a new direction at the same time.
While that may sound a bit conflicting, there’s no contested pull of where HAVEMEYER are taking you. This serves as a fine reminder that the things you love and remember do not have to completely go away, but can be found again in new and exciting ways. Slacker is almost like an audible manifestation of taking your past, and all the things you enjoyed in it, and rebuilding it into a bigger, better, brighter future. I believe virtually every element within the nine-track span of it speaks to that sentiment wholeheartedly, in a language we can all clearly understand.
All that said, I think it’s about time you stop just reading about my gushing of this record and go listen for yourself! Be sure to check out Slacker at any of the links above! Follow HAVEMEYER on all available socials and keep up with any and all endeavors. Beautiful work like this is always deserving of your attention.