Having released their self–titled debut album to excellent reviews in July on Bella Union, The Soft Cavalry (husband/wife duo Steve Clarke and Rachel Goswell of Slowdive) cap a successful year by heading out on a UK tour with their friends RIDE a week today. Of the tour Rachel Goswell says: “I’m really excited to be going back out on tour with Ride, albeit in a different guise, after all these years and to be sharing The Soft Cavalry with everyone! I’ll also be bringing the glitter with me.” Dates/info HERE.
Critical acclaim for The Soft Cavalry, out now on Bella Union:
“A cerebral yet vast and cinematic ode to love and new beginnings, layering ambrosial synths and sparkling guitar with a familiar pairing of Goswell’s seraphic incantations and Clarke’s warm tone… Goswell is an understated weapon in everything she touches, a powerhouse of potent feminine energy.” Uncut – 8/10
“Exploring the same spacey pastures as Slowdive but with license to roam further… Pink Floyd by way of Secret Machines… There’s plenty of promise here.” The Observer – 4 stars ****
“Complex and captivating, Goswell’s ethereal vocals add dream–pop haze to already–atmospheric songs… A slow–burning triumph.” The Independent – 4 stars ****
“Goswell’s cloudy exhalations mist up these songs but their life–buffeted earnestness suggests a shoegazing Elbow (Dive) or The Cure at their most heart–on–long–sleeve (Never Be Without You).” MOJO
“Somewhere between shoegaze and synth–pop… A powerful and remarkable debut.” NME – 4 stars ****
“Bulletproof’s strident disco beat and chiming arpeggios evoke New Order, while the orchestration and arrangements hint at an appreciation of Pink Floyd and Talk Talk, ‘Spiders’ and the closing ‘The Ever Turning Wheel’ unfolding with cinematic majesty… A powerful union.” Long Live Vinyl – 8/10
“Their self–titled debut shares some of Slowdive’s dream–pop DNA but with elements of Pink Floyd, Mercury Rev and The Blue Nile… A monument of emotion, atmosphere and melody… A beautiful, considered piece of work.” PROG
“Atmospheric, cinematic, dramatic, evocative, The Soft Cavalry present intense, melodic dreamscapes.” Classic Rock – 7/10
“Earnest ruminations on love and faith are set against epic soundscapes and tasteful piano lines… It has some lovely moments, the Talk Talk–like ‘Dive’ in particular.” The Times
“Frequently lovely… A debut full of unhurried balladry, washes of guitar and occasional swoops into dramatic climaxes.” Evening Standard
“Musically there’s a surprising amount going on: swathes of piano, brooding synth, tidal hooks and unexpected chord structures framed against moments of backlit, butterfly grace on tracks such as recent single Bulletproof or the Goswell–led Passerby.” The Skinny – 4 Stars ****
For Steve Clarke, The Soft Cavalry’s self-titled debut album is the first record he’s masterminded from start to finish, with invaluable contributions from his wife, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, on co-vocals and spiritual/practical guidance, and Steve’s brother Michael, who produced the record. 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 R.E.M. A record radiating midlife crisis but equally enormous elation; a helix of fear and hope, aching for resolution.