Posts Tagged ‘Steve Clarke’

The soft cavalry 01

The Soft Cavalry are a new duo featuring Rachel Goswell of legendary ’90s shoegazers Slowdive alongside her husband Steve Clarke. They are releasing their self-titled debut album on July 5th via Bella Union Records. This week they shared another song from the album, “Bulletproof,” via a video for the track. The striking black & white video features the band performing the song via sign language.

Goswell had this to say about the video in a press release: “For a long time now I have wanted to do a video that incorporates BSL (British Sign Language) due to my son being Profoundly Deaf with no hearing. He also has additional needs with CHARGE Syndrome that brings many added complications. I live within two worlds both Hearing and Deaf; and have learned a lot in the last nine years about the many barriers Deaf people can face in our society. One of the main points I was taught very quickly is how music is accessible to Deaf people. Of course music can be felt through vibration but visually I feel so much more could be done to enhance the experience. We made this video with the support of Sign Up BSL to translate ‘Bulletproof’ so that the song flows properly in BSL. Sometimes with signing videos – they can be a literal translation of the words (Sign Supported English) which will make little sense to the Deaf viewer. Our hope is that we have achieved this and also that one day as my son gets older and develops his language skills he will be able to understand this song.”

Previously they shared its first single, “Dive,” Then they have shared a video for “Dive.” Hand Held Cine Club directed the video, which fittingly featured a man contemplating taking a high dive into a public swimming pool.

Of the theme of the album, Clarke says: “It’s recovery versus new doubt. I’m there, in the middle. The word that kept coming back to me was ‘resilience.’ With the right mentality and people around you, especially family, we get through, and find a level of hope.”

Clarke’s brother Michael Clarke produced the album, which also features keyboardist Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake), guitarist Tom Livermore, and drummer Stuart Wilkinson.

Slowdive released a new album, a self-titled affair and their first full-length in 22 years, in 2017 via Dead Oceans.

Clarke has been a musician since the late ’90s, playing bass and singing backup vocals with various bands live and in the studio. But The Soft Cavalry is the first album he’s been in creative control of. He’s also been a tour manager, which is how he met Goswell, managing one of Slowdive’s reunion tours in 2014. He had been divorced since 2011 when he met her.

In a press release Clarke sets the scene for when he first met Goswell: “I was hung-over in the back of my van trying to work out how I was going to fit all the band’s gear into this confined space whilst I still had all of mine from the show that I’d played in London the night before. The second of two sold-out shows at Hammersmith Apollo with David Brent!”

A year later, Clarke and Goswell were living together. They got married in 2018. In the press release Clarke says that Goswell inspired him to focus more on his own music.

“I’d always had ideas but never felt that anything I had to say was worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone my own,” he says. “I wish that I could have done this 15 years ago but, in reality, I simply couldn’t have. But I’m not one to overly wallow. I’d rather plough the various levels of confusion into songs.”.

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The Soft Cavalry - The Soft Cavalry

Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell has lent her talents to a number of projects over the last few years, from the supergroup Minor Victories to collaborations with Mark Kozelek and Beach Fossils. She also, of course, played a large part in Slowdive’s 2017 comeback album. The band’s music is a particularly British brand of intense cinematic drama. Melodic and timeless, the album lands in the atmospheric dimensions between Pink Floyd, Talk Talk and Mansun. A record radiating midlife crisis but equally enormous elation; a helix of fear and hope, aching for resolution. A record Steve emphasises that he “needed” to make.

Today, she’s announcing a new project named the Soft Cavalry, which is a duo with her husband Steve Clarke, who she married last year. In July, they’ll release their self-titled debut album. “I’d always had ideas but never felt that anything I had to say was worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone my own,” Clarke said of the collaboration. “I wish that I could have done this fifteen years ago but, in reality, I simply couldn’t have. But I’m not one to overly wallow. I’d rather plough the various levels of confusion into songs.”

Its lead single, “Dive,” is a contemplative sigh, unknotting thorny emotions with comparative ease.

Taken from the debut album by ‘The Soft Calvary’.