Before a month-and-change ago, Slowdive hadn’t released an album in 22 years. So you’d be forgiven for watching the band perform “Sugar For The Pill” and struggling to pin down what era you’re in — especially since NPR Music plopped the group in a playfully retro Brooklyn shuffleboard parlor for the occasion.
In the early ’90s, Slowdive dressed up shoegaze’s hazy drift with jolts of energy and a chiming dream-pop shimmer. The band lasted only three albums before splitting up in 1995, at which point members Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell formed the more countrified Mojave 3. Now, after reuniting in 2014, it’s back with a self-titled album that picks up where it left off — but, while it conjures many signifiers of ’90s college radio, the band’s return album freshens the project up, too, with bright, impeccable songcraft. A patient mid-tempo gem that’s as hooky as it is hypnotic, “Sugar For The Pill” is a particular highlight, so it’s a joy to watch the reconstituted band trot it out for this Field Recording, filmed at Royal Palms Shuffleboard in Brooklyn.