Endless Loop: When the Sun Hits

slowdiveHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years?  Sure you have.  These are the songs that always make the cut.  The songs on repeat.  We all have them.  I have a ton.  Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“When the Sun Hits” by Slowdive

I was late to the game when it comes to loving on shoegaze band Slowdive.  They had been disbanded for about three years by the time I heard them, and their members had already moved on to new things like Mojave 3.  I was late, but I remember distinctly the first time I heard their music courtesy of an old friend while on a road trip to Houston, Texas to see Radiohead and Spiritualized my freshman year of college.  “When the Sun Hits” proved to be a beautiful soundtrack for driving through the woods, as I had my friend repeat it a few times over.  In a word, I was mesmerized.  It felt kind of like My Bloody Valentine, only more melancholy, almost aching or yearning for something unattainable.  Better late than never I guess.

I also distinctly remember listening to 1993’s Souvlaki, the album from which “When the Sun Hits” appears, borrowed from the same friend.  I laid on my bed at my parents house during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, probably drunk or stoned or buzzing, and I listened to the album straight through.  And then I listened to the whole thing again.  And it felt like all those layers of guitar effects and reverby, cooing vocals were washing over me.  It felt like the ethereal atmosphere from the Brian Eno aided tracks was dissolving my walls, making my room disappear, and sending my corporeal form elsewhere.  It was beautiful.  It was soothing.  It was transcendent.

Relistening to the album again later and with a clearer head, the result proved to be the same.

Over the last several years, I have bounced around from track to track on Souvlaki, a new favorite taking over for awhile, but ultimately, I always come back to “When the Sun Hits.”  And keeping with my Slowdive tardiness, I finally got to catch the band live about a month ago here in Austin, tickets scored for a last second Levitation makeup show (RIP Levitation 2016).  It was fantastic to see the kind of following the band has.  With the venue at capacity, there were easily hundreds of people milling about on the other side of the gates, just listening, or climbing onto trees and structures to peer over the fence.  It was kind of amazing.  It turns out this music’s not just for me.  But when they began “When the Sun Hits,” and the scenery melted away, it certainly still felt like it.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: When the Sun Hits
  1. Shawn C. Baker Reply

    Gorgeous write up. I still have not heard this band. Time to go straight to itunes (your columns often prove expensive for me sir, in the best possible way).

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