Where The Mind Wanders

Released: 28 Jul 2023

Label: Tru Thoughts

‘Where The Mind Wanders’ is the debut album from Bristol-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, artist and songwriter, Slowe.

This project is a window into Slowe’s mind, with each song reflecting a different aspect of her inner world. With a musical landscape that ebbs and flows, Slowe poetically addresses the struggles of self-doubt and the beauty of fulfilment and joy. These themes are perfectly embodied in “A Simple Act” as she explores uncertainty, wanting to push herself, but faltering at times with a lack of confidence. Led by the cyclical urge to push yourself and subsequent hesitancy, the lyrics move through sparkling R&B Rhodes and celesta that nod to her love of neo-soul and a loose beat played by Conor Harrington, bopping between Sam Fox’s smooth bassline.

The tracks showcase the versatility in Slowe’s production, with different expressions mirroring the furthest corners of her mind, “both introspective and immersive, each track is a dive into the depths of the human psyche, exploring the intricacies of emotions and thoughts that often go unspoken” she explains.

‘Where The Mind Wanders’ features previous singles “WLYTK”, Slowe’s avant-soul exploration of withheld feelings, the retro-tinged slow jam “Superego”, and the urban jazz-hop groove “Fix Me Up’” featuring Rachai. Speaking of seeking balance, certainty and clarity when moving forward it “perfectly summarises the themes on the album and what I was going through when making these songs” Slowe adds.

‘Feel’ features a team of local, Bristolian musicians: Eli Jitsuto from Snazzback plays the guitar, Sam Fox adds the melodic bass riff, Conor Harrington is on drums and Laurence Fazakerly Buglass brings his effortless keys into the mix. As they dance in a sultry, sparse arrangement the focus shifts between two imperfect people navigating bad habits in a relationship, where they are ultimately overcome by unconditional love. Embedded in the album is the J Dilla inspired instrumental gem, “Inertia”, through which Slowe’s production takes mainstage with the captivating, improvised saxophone from Oli Morris. ‘Stay Right Here’ celebrates a 10-year milestone in her relationship, “it’s quite a beautiful thing to know someone that well and to have shared so much together” Slowe reflects, embracing her contentment. Aiming for a classic, 70’s soul feel, Slowe and the co-producer Laurence composed a string section by layering each player and recreated a gritty, vintage quality with pedal effects. “Solar” captures a feeling of seasons moving past you, whilst feeling stuck in winter, which comes through in the raw, acoustic feel. In response to this tension, the following track “Lunar” reassures with a success story of breaking free from the anxiety that holds you back and prevents you from reaching your full potential. The final, psychedelia-tinged track “Calibrate” closes the album.

Following continued support from resident DJ James Threlfall, BBC Introducing have shared a short, exclusive, live rendition of “Superego”. The project has also garnered support from Robert Elms (BBC Radio London), Don Letts (BBC Radio 6 Music), BBC Radio 6 Music’s Focus Beats, Valida and Scott Dallavo (KCRW), Boba Fatt and Tom Pickford (Soho Radio), Marshmello (NTS), Neil Bopperson and General Public (Balamii), Stereofox and Dummy Mag, among others.

Slowe’s DIY approach is reminiscent of lo-fi beat-making; delicately layering together session recordings, and repurposing techniques akin to those of J Dilla and Madlib. The result is both nostalgic and fiercely contemporary, with sparkling Rhodes, vintage drum lines, and buttery vocals. The combination of Slowe’s radiant lilts and introspective lyricism atop the fuzzy, analogue warmth makes for swooning escapism.