Album review: Slow Crush – Hush

Slow Crush offer a warm embrace with lush second album Hush.

Album review: Slow Crush – Hush
Olly Thomas

As the nights draw in and temperatures dip, Belgian quartet Slow Crush have picked a perfect time to return. There’s an autumnal chill present in the stately sonics of new album Hush, with shimmering guitar figures as crisp as frost underfoot. An elemental darkness is ever-present, but the lambent beauty of these songs will offer comfort and hope in the longest of winters.

Thrill’s tranquil glimmer and the echoing fragility of Gloom place Slow Crush as successors to ethereal legends Cocteau Twins, while elsewhere there are definite nods to the likes of Slowdive, early Lush and The Cure circa Disintegration. While never quite as full-on as kindred spirits NOTHING, rockier instincts do assert themselves amidst the shoegaze and dream-pop, whether via the faster, almost punky tempo of Swoon or abrasive moments like the conclusion to Bent And Broken, incidentally the only tune here with a title longer than one word. A key unifying constant is the elegant vocal style of bassist Isa Holliday, a warm and wistful presence cocooned within the warm embrace of Hush’s soundworld.

The dreamy waltz of Rêve finds the band at their most tender, while Hush’s title-track moves through different dynamics over six-and-a-half minutes, taking in delicate melody, walloping gloom-rock and sombre serenity, challenging the idea that Slow Crush might be one-trick ponies. Admittedly, there aren’t many hooks here that stick in your mind once the album stops playing, but that isn’t really the point: this music is about the atmosphere it creates, lulling the listener into a blissful trance state, and that experience is what persists in the memory. The flickering flames of this album are as engulfing as any raging inferno.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: NOTHING, Slowdive, Holy Fawn

Hush is out now via Church Road Records

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