A piercing melodic intro is all Noshows needs to bring us into the grip of their new single “Slow Up,” accompanied by a cautious whisper that only hints at the delicate decadence we’re soon to indulge in beside the band. The first thing I noticed about this song was its aggressive pacing and seemingly hesitant vocalist in featured guest Aud, which together produce a lot of contrast and tension that makes the hook even stronger than it would have been. We’re no more than thirty seconds into this track, and it’s already quite obvious that we’re not listening to something that a composer threw together one day in the name of breaking a couple of streams online. This is real musicianship, and it’s excellently presented here.
The chorus is a little anticlimactic next to the buildup, but I think it was meant to be. There’s already so much energy coming through the percussion and the harmonies that to have let off any more steam on the backend during the chorus would have rendered the hook rather redundant. Noshows wants to accomplish something with “Slow Up,” and their refusal to bring a lot of clutter into this mix tells me that they’re more committed to the concept of the material than they are to anything on the surface level exclusively. This isn’t amateur hour, and the résumés that these players are bringing into the studio with them definitely speak to this fact and then some.
Production quality is always a big point of interest when it comes to pop music, and Noshows took it very seriously when making this track. Although it could have been a little more polished concerning the drums and the bass parts, the front end of this mix is well-polished and sparkles like something out of a retro pop fantasy. I can understand the desire to go DIY and avoid the pitfalls that come with being too excessive with melodic components, but there’s nothing for this group to hide – I say that their next single would do even better as a radio-centric piece capable of highlighting what this band does better than anyone else around the NYC underground can at the moment, and that is harmonizing to a cool rhythm.
If Noshows is showing us what their group is all about in “Slow Up,” their story is just starting to write itself. American audiences are probably going to get a taste for this if it’s marketed via the college radio medium that has become so pivotal to the indie rock community in both the mainstream and independent channels, but no matter what route Noshows decides to take, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re going to remain a creative force to be reckoned with as long as they’re in their scene. “Slow Up” has several eclecticisms that surprised me even beyond what Aud can bring to the table on her own, but it’s also one of the more accessible listens you’re going to find in indie pop this season.