We saw them together on the “Smile Lines” tour, and now they’re together in a song! Slowly Slowly have teamed up with their singer-songwriter friend Bec Stevens for an unexpected duo with new single “Safety Switch”. Instead of a momentary vocal feature, Bec and Slowly Slowly’s vocalist Ben Stewart together have an ongoing ‘conversation’ of sorts throughout the track.
Attention is bounced between the male and female voices, having the listener sit up close and personal to what comes across as an argument. Vibes of “Do I matter to you? Are we going to make it?” seep through for me as unspoken questions, with two defensive people stalking around the other, trying to see if they can (re)connect and fit together – without getting hurt in the process.
Satisfyingly instrumentally fuller at its choruses, the title’s meaning is shared clearly there; asking for reassurance that the two won’t crash and burn, pinning combined hopes upon the idea that there’s cushioning to whatever bumps occur along the road.
“I think we’ll be alright if I fill up the cracks with apologies and never take them back”
While the song is easy to take in as a whole, attention is honed in on the vocals more than any other feature for me, such as at the bridge where it’s especially raw and pared back. So when the tension builds with both voice and instrument, it’s deliciously enjoyable; where uncertainty and hope seem to crash together. Bec’s long-held “before we hit a wall” is glorious, and the entwined layers and voices combined as the song reaches its end feels really good, despite no clear happy ending.
My interpretation aside, Ben described the inspiration of the song in his own words, saying “I tried to showcase how you get stuck on footholds in arguments and eventually lose the point of what you’re trying to achieve. It’s about being stubborn and wanting to win despite the consequences, and then being reminded in those very human moments, in the aftermath, of what is really important.”
The single is a sweet way to see out yet another huge year for Slowly Slowly. After a full schedule of appearances on festival bills, their “Jellyfish” headline tour, regional stops for “Creature of Habit Pt. 2”, and support spots, the single seems like a grounding nod to their friends and humble connections. The relatively simple video echoes the same. They’re not done with 2019 yet though, as the Melbourne four piece still have Good Things a NYE On The Hill festivals ahead.
Watch “Safety Switch” below via YouTube or here: https://unfd.lnk.to/safetyswitch