St. Leonards – Slowly Slowly’s second album – is a vivid snapshot of the life of Slowly Slowly frontman Ben Stewart and those closest to him.
Lyrically dense yet restrained instrumentally to allow room for striking imagery and vibrant metaphors, Stewart veers between stream-of-consciousness accounts of futile existence in the city to rich narratives about love, life and the family cornerstone at St. Leonards beach.
Stewart’s love of language and storytelling stems from hours spent dissecting lyrics from the likes of Paul Dempsey, Tim Rogers, Connor Oberst and Kevin Devine. Balancing raw honesty with engaging hooks, there’s the child-like opener “Dinosaurs” and “Aliens” whose thought-purging social commentary sneers at the world through the glummest lens. Elsewhere he examines complicated family dynamics on “The Cold War”, the Tinder-riddled search for happiness on “10 Leaf Clover” and finally it all falling into place on the unapologetically happy ode of “Alchemy”. Throughout St. Leonards, Stewart captures the world around him in full colour.
St. Leonards was captured by the band themselves in their home of Melbourne. In true DIY spirit, St. Leonards was entirely co-produced, recorded and mixed by Alex Quale (bass) and Stewart.
Slowly Slowly have unlikely beginnings in a label machine factory in Outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Repurposing in the vacant front office with a makeshift home studio and ample space to skate between takes, it was here Stewart and Quayle spent countless hours laying the foundation of the band. Since then, they’ve upgraded the recording equipment, recruited two more members – Patrick Murphy (drums) and Albert Doan (guitar) – dropped their revered debut album, Chamomile and found a home on triple j.
Slowly Slowly’s heartfelt rock with a touch of emo proved to be versatile enough for the band to share stages with the likes of Citizen, Sorority Noise and Something For Kate alongside selling out their own headline shows. They’ve also appeared at Beyond the Valley and Party in the Paddock festivals.
Come May 2018, Slowly Slowly take the tales of St. Leonards across the country.