They say nobody else moves a heart like you do
At the edge of the shadows
Faces glance in echoes
Meet Slower Avenue, the one and only darkwave synthpop, and post-punk duo hailing from the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Comprised of the international duo of Luis Bonet, with his rich heritage from Spain and the UK, and Thomas Galvez, who brings a slice of California to the mix, Slower Avenue stands out in Vietnam’s music scene. Initially started by Luis as a solo endeavor during the pandemic, the project evolved as he sought to depart from his previous musical style in favor of something more cutting-edge and introspective.
As the lockdowns were winding down in Vietnam in early 2022, Galvez, an experienced musician and passionate music lover, decided to start an arts and entertainment entity called Other Voices VN in order to promote the full gamut of all flavors of post-punk, which previously had little exposure in Vietnam. The name “Other Voices” comes from The Cure song but also represents the idea that these other genres need to be heard and highlighted. Galvez booked Slower Avenue at an Other Voices VN event in August 2022. The two hit it off and joined forces in early 2023.
The sound of Slower Avenue initially kept many of the synthpop sensibilities, but started incorporating influence from The Smiths, The Cure, Cocteau Twins and others. Overall, Slower Avenue brings a beautiful, melancholic sound that sparkles with texture and warms the soul, providing both a comfortable nostalgia and vibrant desire for those deeply pleasurable and pensive moments in life. Bonet, handling vocals, guitar, and synth, brings a fusion of Spanish zest and British cool to their sound, while Galvez lays down the groove on his Bass VI and guitar, injecting a dose of laid-back California vibes. We also hear shades of Spandau Ballet and Harsh Symmetry.
Slower Avenue recently released the Glance EP. The album opens with the existential Unequivocal, a song about the fear of death itself, but also accepting the natural law of life and living fully.
“Glance is about the consequences of love or infatuation,” says Bonet. “The risks we take not only in doing so but also in how a simple eye-to-eye interaction can bring about so many feelings, good and bad. How we act and what we decide upon meeting someone ultimately determines many aspects of what the future of the relationship will be. But, sometimes the fantasy about this future was better than the reality if the relationship actually happened.”
“Since I started Other Voices VN and began creating and joining events as a DJ, different stories started to swirl around in my head based on the experiences at the events,” says Galvez. “One of these swirling stories was envisioned as a movie, but without time, money, resources, personnel, and the general capacity to make a movie, I knew this story would likely never see the light of day. When Luis and I decided on the songs for the EP, we felt Glance would be a good single. When I saw the full lyrics for Glance for the first time, I was pleasantly shocked how similar the song’s themes fit with this “movie” that was swirling in my head. I told Luis, ‘we will do a video and this is what the story will be: a pared down version of this movie in my head that references elements of love, fantasy, introspection, and alternative realities for the three main characters.’ He agreed, and I set forth to make the story fit… I was very happy to get my friend, Jez Fei, a local fashionista in Saigon, to co-star in the video with us. We got the wonderful local craft beverage company, MixTape Drinks, to support the video shoot with its owner, Chad Mitchell, making an appearance in the video. We were also elated to get many of our fans to join the video shoot!”
Watch the video for “Glance” below:
Dark Shades discusses borderline personality, and the internal battle with one’s own psyche – leading to the emergence of that darker side of our personalities. Take Me Away is about the desire to escape the chaos of the world we live in, to seek solace and liberation through the act of running away – a universal theme.
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Slower Avenue also has released a live concert video, In the Dark Light of the City.
“Since we were going to do a special EP and music video show at a relatively new venue in the heart of Saigon that has a “dark” yet romantic vibe, we thought it would be great to capture the show with the help of a professional filmmaker,” says Galvez. “We heard great things about the live music performance video being done by local Spanish filmmaker, Mateu Lambda (Lambda TV), so we enlisted him and his crew to capture our performance. We also wanted to capture the performances of these songs we’ve been playing in this early stage of the band. The show, the energy and love from the crowd, and the night in general was amazing. This live video captures it wonderfully.”
Check out their previous video, Temporary.
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