The unified melody of Slowdim

Cellars by Starlight
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  March 20, 2013


Slowdim drink wine with pizza. It's true. I was there. They also play innocent, melodic, anthemic indie rock in 2013. As if none of the past 20 years had ever happened. As if beer had never been invented. "I was actually on eBay looking for an old U2 T-shirt," says Slowdim singer/guitarist/chief-songwriter Paul Sentz from the home of bassist/vocalist Karina DaCosta. "I've been listening to a lot of Achtung Baby." While not a whole lot of Bono's ultra-strident, glammy persona can be detected in the band's debut album (still untitled at the time of this writing), you can still catch a whiff of U2's orchid-scented lush bombast in the garden of Slowdim's Creation Records-era sweet, harmonic blooms.

Although DaCosta doesn't necessarily share the same musical loves and quirks as childhood friend Sentz (the two went to elementary school together in Virginia), or even singer/guitarist/co-songwriter Eric Ryrie and drummer/producer James Zaner, for that matter, one gathers that a big part of being in Slowdim is about live-and-let-live. "I love it," DaCosta says of Sentz's potentially unpopular U2 affection. "Because he does not take shit."

Sentz and DaCosta go all the way back to Trapper Keepers and pencil grips. The two were dating long-distance when DaCosta moved to Boston to join Sentz, who was going to Berklee, in 2005. On the day of her arrival, Sentz went to a show by the Shills, the band that his Berklee peer Zaner and Ryrie had formed in 2004 (Ryrie has since left the Shills, but Zaner holds dual-citizenship in the long-standing rock quartet and Slowdim). Fast-forward another year and Sentz creates the template for Slowdim with emotional, driving pop outfit This Car Up, while DaCosta enters into her early chapters with veteran Boston psych band 28 Degrees Taurus. By 2011, DaCosta and Sentz had formed Slowdim.

Listening to the warm breezes of Slowdim's debut LP, it's not hard to imagine that there was nothing for these four friends to do but support each other's bands and wait for the time to arrive when they could all make music together. The merits of classic roll-up-the-sleeves songwriting, full of detailed charts and clever changes, can be heard throughout — in the power-pop of "Wishing Well," in the happy/sad harmonies of "Leave Our Names" and in the classic, arching melody of "Birds" — but Slowdim assure that the process of composition is much more spontaneous than you'd think. "We're talking anti-charts and changes," says Ryrie. "We're talking emotions and songs that just come from the heart."


SLOWDIM + NIGHT FRUIT + FEDAVEES :: Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston :: March 28 :: 9 pm :: 18+ :: $8 :: 617.566.9014 or

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  Topics: Music Features , U2, Karina Dacosta, Achtung Baby,  More more >
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