Slowdance: making chaperones uncomfortable

by: Annamarya Scaccia

There’s something wildly fantastic about Slowdance and their stylish EP, “Light & Color”.Whether it’s their distorted trots through neo-new wave pars or their smoldering struts through retro French-pop standards, the young Brooklyn indie quintetknows exactly how to entice and bewilder listeners at the same time. But it’s not just the duality of their reverie soundscape that causes this complexity—frontwoman Quay Quinn-Settel’s proclivity for singing in French adds to Slowdance’s evocative and unsettling charm, breathlessly counting down lyrics that often defy their poppy beats. So it’s no wonder that Slowdance has gained such a loyal following – as well as spots at major festivals CMJ 2011 and SXSW 2012 – in the less than two years they’ve been in existence.

What was the initial attraction for singing in French? 

We usually write lyrics last, so we’ll pick the language based off the character of the song. Some songs just sound better in French.

Does singing in two different languages affect the way Slowdance approachesthe creative process?

Since [our synth player] Luke writes most of the lyrics, they usually start out in English. French songs require that extra translation step. Other than that, not really.

Aside from music, how much does French culture influence Slowdance?

Franchement très peu.

Over the summer, you’ve made your first gig trip outside of New York. What was your experience playing in a different city for the first time? Did it affect that way you approach gigs?

Our first out-of-town show was in [Washington,] DC opening for Dom. No one in the room knew who we were, which we took as added incentive to play a great show. We try to tap into that feeling whenever we play out, NYC or elsewhere.

The Health Department shut down Williamsburg’s Union Pool for operating under an expired permit during your gig on December 1. How did that go down? Were you kind of freaked by it?

That was definitely a drag, but the rescheduled show was a fucking blast. We all made the best of it.

Published in The Deli Magazine – April 13, 2012

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