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Slowdive, 'kisses'

The deeper Slowdive gets into its career, the more it embraces clarity. The English shoegaze act pioneered a murky strain of rock on '90s masterpieces like Souvlaki and Just For A Day. But it displayed a newfound command over pop songwriting when it put out its first new music in 22 years after reuniting in 2017.

The first single from everything is alive, out Sept. 1, pushes things into even more direct terrain. The suave "kisses" is carried by jangly guitar strumming, eerie lead lines and a surfy groove, which support calmly-delivered lyrics about romance and new-beginnings. It's a song that begs to score some cathartic afternoon drive down a mossy coastline.

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Ted Davis