Slowdive was the quintessential shoegaze band of the1990’s. Boy in Static’s major influences were Slowdive and other legendary shoegaze band, My Bloody Valentine. So what do you get when you take members of Slowdive and Boy in Static’s Alexander Chen? Shoegaze brilliance, that’s what! Or, rather The Consulate General, whose debut album, Person Number, came out earlier this month.
Chen traded in his San Francisco digs for Göteborg, Sweden. It is there that he’s been living, and collaborating with Simon Scott of Slowdive, and Antoine Bédard of Montag. The first song off Person Number is a sweet, poppy-bliss homage to his new surroundings of Sweden: “We’ll brave umlauts, Nordic seas/Won’t let the government find our TV’s/We’ll give ourselves new names for Nordea/What time is it now in Sweden?/When’s the sunrise in Gothenburg?/What time is it now?” Despite living in a country that charges for each television (Chen clearly has a plan for this), he seems to be smitten with his new home.
Next up is “On the Run,” a dreamy ballad about someone who has a never-ending escape plan. Chen’s voice is just a few notches above a whisper, providing for even, yet fervent vocals; and each song seems almost effortless in its evolution from beginning to end.
It’s on the song “17th Street,” that Simon Scott makes his appearance. Although poppier and more electronic than the gorgeous drones of his Slowdive days, his influence is more than apparent; with Chen holding up his end with his melodious lyrics about love and longing: “I hold my hand up like a prophet/A rented room on rented time/Rehearse every step like it’s gospel/For when you’re back by my side.”
The Consulate General’s first album is remarkable, and considering the musicians and experiences that helped to create it, it’s no surprise. Although there doesn’t seem to be plans for the band to tour any time soon, one can only hope that will change…it would be an impeccable line-up to see live.
Hear more of Person Number here.
By, Amanda Chatel