As the month of October reaches its end and Los Angeles experiences what it would consider the fall season, LA-based group Slow Hollows brings forward a new album for the first time since 2016. The group has matured greatly since the days of Romantic and has incorporated some new talent to help craft their current sound. With the help of Tyler, the Creator and Ryan Beatty, the group finds their stride in their new full-length release, Actors.
The album is the culmination of years of crafting a sound that is immune to the barriers of genre and the fear of failure. Slow Hollows has mastered the art of creating, well art, on a track to track basis. With a very distinct tracklist and a variety of production decisions, Actors takes the listener from a guitar-backed ballad to a jazzy and synth-heavy track seamlessly.
To open the album, we have the album's title complement, "Actress." With a soft saxophone and open snare to match, the song does a commendable job of setting the overall mood of the album. The album and song capture a sense of melancholy that shines through in the lyrics "Somethings never change," enforcing the very steps of the journey ahead.
Following the introduction is "You Are Now on Fire," a clear highlight. The track picks up the pace and juxtaposes the slow jazz fade that transitions into the song itself. The song tells a tale of a complicated relationship detailing how two individuals can have vast differences in the outcome of a relationship. "You found love / I found fear" sets the theme of the track in stone, as the bride later echoes, "I want to feel safe," showcasing how intense these emotions may be.
Moving forward into the album, we have the song "Heart," which marks the collaboration between Slow Hollows and Tyler, the Creator. This track picks up production credit from the mastermind behind Igor, and the members of Slow Hollow make sure to deliver as well. Over a few vintage synths, through some reverb drowned vocals, we hear the message "I guess the love was never there." However, when the chorus hits, the listener is introduced to a plethora of high hats and plucky guitar to immediately change the feel of the song.
Later in Actors, "Come Back In" serves as an striking example of Slow Hollows' range. With a verse delivered over acoustic guitar and an ambient background, the track progressively becomes more complex, building upon itself each step of the way. The cascade of sounds is exciting and euphonious, as each next building block arrives a new sensation to the ear.
Ultimately, the album concludes with the track, "Heart (Reprise)," a different take on the Tyler, the Creator - produced number. With otherworldly synths drowning out the echoing vocals, "Keep on running but you keep on running," the album comes to a cinematic end. As the synths eventually fade, the listener is left with nothing more than a momentary false silence. And as the real conclusion plays out, there is a sense of bliss that comes with the wall of sound, leaving the listener lost in a soundscape of calm and beauty.
Listen to Actors below: