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Video of the Week #278: The Silver Reserve – Slow TV

As the title of the new single from The Silver Reserve may suggest, nothing moves too quickly in that particular musical world. Starting life in 2014 as a vehicle for the songs of Matthew Sturgess, The Silver Reserve evolved into a wider collaborative project with some other West Yorkshire musicians, out of which came an album and a series of live shows. This self-titled, debut record was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim.

There were plans to record a full-band follow-up album. It had been completely written but the Coronavirus pandemic then hit and as Matthew Sturgess recently explained to me, “recording sessions were struck by various setbacks and very little was captured that represented the live band well enough.”

Following the wider impact of the pandemic, The Silver Reserve eventually re-emerged, only this time as a purely solo platform for Matthew Sturgess. Since then he has performed many shows on his own and further developed his writing style. And ‘Slow TV’ is the first song to be released since that time.

‘Slow TV’ is a brand new song and shares many central characteristics that are wholly unique to The Silver Reserve recording process. Other than being entirely solo, it is played by Matthew Sturgess on a steel string guitar (as opposed to his usual choice of nylon). There are very few overdubs, comprising as it does just his voice, guitar and one vocal overdub. It is recorded to a four-track without recourse to any digital tools and is the shortest song Sturgess has ever released.

And it is within this brevity and simplicity that the beauty of ‘Slow TV’ lies. Never once threatening to overstay its welcome, the song clocks in at a mere 88 seconds. Over an intimate, unadorned and engaging melody, Matthew Sturgess reflects upon “the feeling of time passing, of ageing and frustration, but also of trying to remain grateful for all we have.”  Much like some of Sparklehorse’s earlier work, there is a sadness present in ‘Slow TV’ but any such melancholy is consumed by Sturgess’s deeply felt appreciation of the world that surrounds him.

The accompanying video – using footage sourced and then edited by Matthew Sturgess – captures various scenes of cattle gently running or grazing in the British countryside, at one in their natural surroundings. These images convey a sense of a movement towards a place of peace and tranquillity, and perhaps in reaching this fresh point of hope for the future finally drawing a line under all that has gone before.

Further information on The Silver Reserve can be found HERE

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.