Slowdive – “Sleep”

Slowdive – “Sleep”
Slowdive @ Tomavistas, Madrid - May 2022 by Frank Yang

Just going to keep carrying on with some Slowdive love because I just got back from seeing them in Madrid at Tomavistas. As I mentioned last week, it’s been about five years since I saw them last and the set list wasn’t too far from what they were playing then, right up until almost the end.

They still closed the night with their cover of Syd Barrett’s “Golden Hair” – a lovely way to soundtrack a walk to the parking lot – but the second-last song was introduced as a song they’d only played once before, leading one to believe it was a preview of their not-yet-announced new record… and maybe it was?

The song was “Sleep”, which long-time fans may recognize as a rarity that has been circulating for almost 30 years as a Pygmalion-era demo. What’s less known is that it’s technically a cover, originally by guitarist Christian Savill’s teenage pre-Slowdive band Eternal and was released on their 1990 single Breathe, which is now available on Bandcamp.

It made its live Slowdive debut two nights earlier in Bath, UK, and its appearance here certainly makes it seem like it will finally becoming an official part of the Slowdive discography. The demo was just raw enough that you could imagine it being stripped-down further for inclusion on Pygmalion, but in its 2022 incarnation, it’s made much lusher and could easily have appeared on Souvlaki.

In any case, it sounded magical and now exists as a 30-year old bootleg, a week-old live video, and hopefully soon as part of a new Slowdive record.

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