Slowdive - s/t (2017): let's rejoice, shall we?

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out on 5 May!

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:33 (two months ago) Permalink

“It felt like we were in a movie that had a totally implausible ending...”

Slowdive’s second act as a live blockbuster has already been rapturously received around the world. Highlights thus far include a festival-conquering, sea-of-devotees Primavera Sound performance, of which Pitchfork noted: “The beauty of their crystalline sound is almost hard to believe, every note in its perfect place.”

“It was just nice to realise that there was a decent amount of interest in it,” says principal songwriter Neil Halstead. The UK shoegaze pioneers have now channelled such seemingly impossible belief into a fourth studio opus which belies his characteristic modesty. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.

Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane”, these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Birthed at the band’s talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard – “It felt like home,” enthuses guitarist Christian Savill – their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady (perhaps best known for his work with Beach House, one of countless contemporary acts to have followed in Slowdive’s wake).

“It’s poppier than I thought it was going to be,” notes Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995‘s previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. “When you’re in a band and you do three records, there’s a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record.”

Drummer and loop conductor Simon Scott enhanced the likes of ‘Slomo’ and ‘Falling Ashes’ with abstract textures conjured via his laptop’s signal processing software. A fecund period of experimentation with “40-minute iPhone jams” allowed the unit to then amplify the core of their chemistry. “Neil is such a gifted songwriter, so the songs won. He has these sparks of melodies, like ‘Sugar For The Pill’ and ‘Star Roving’, which are really special. But the new record still has a toe in that Pygmalion sound. In the future, things could get very interesting indeed.”

This open-channel approach to creativity is reflected by Slowdive’s impressively wide field of influence, from indie-rock avatars to ambient voyagers – see the tribute album of cover versions released by Berlin electronic label Morr Music. As befits such evocative visionaries, you can also hear Slowdive through the silver screen: New Queer Cinema trailblazer Gregg Araki has featured them on the soundtracks to no less than four of his films.

“When I moved to America in 2008 I was working in an organic grocery store,” recalls Christian. “Kids started coming in and asking if it was true I had played in Slowdive. That’s when I started thinking, ‘OK, this is weird!’”

Neil Halstead: “We were always ambitious. Not in terms of trying to sell records, but in terms of making interesting records. Maybe, if you try and make interesting records, they’re still interesting in a few years time. I don’t know where we’d have gone if we had carried straight on. Now we’ve picked up a different momentum. It’s intriguing to see where it goes next.”

The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. This movie could run and run...

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:34 (two months ago) Permalink

Tracklisting

Slomo
Star Roving
Don’t Know Why
Sugar For The Pill
Everyone Knows
No Longer Making Time
Go Get It
Falling Ashes

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:39 (two months ago) Permalink

love all this pretending mojave 3 didn't exist

an uptempo Pop/Hip Hop mentality (imago), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 09:59 (two months ago) Permalink

haha yeah - wonder how that feels like for Neil and Rachel

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 10:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Well these first two releases are fabulous. This is most I've enjoyed a shoegaze release since "From What is Said to When it's Read" by Bark Psychosis.

yesca, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 10:40 (two months ago) Permalink

haha yeah - wonder how that feels like for Neil and Rachel

― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 10:28 (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it ought to feel like something! anyway, spoon & rafter is the best album by either band

an uptempo Pop/Hip Hop mentality (imago), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 11:36 (two months ago) Permalink

I like this more than I expected to - evolves their sound in a way I can respect.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 11:41 (two months ago) Permalink

i like that song a lot. sorta feels like the sound of pygmalion applied to a more traditional song structure (disclosure i've never listened to mojave 3)

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 12:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Brad omg

an uptempo Pop/Hip Hop mentality (imago), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 12:34 (two months ago) Permalink

Slightly duplicate thread. ;-)

Slowdive's 2017 album

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:09 (two months ago) Permalink

Mojave 3 can be good. Can be.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:10 (two months ago) Permalink

(disclosure i've never listened to mojave 3)

This won't be a popular opinion but imo the last two albums were their best, one distended space folk and the other weirdly power-poppy?

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:29 (two months ago) Permalink

also "Sugar for the Pill" is beautiful

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:29 (two months ago) Permalink

it's practically Coldplay

an uptempo Pop/Hip Hop mentality (imago), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink

mojave 3s best album was excuses for travellers

get to it

F♯ A♯ (∞), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 17:51 (two months ago) Permalink

Don't mean to offend any Mojave 3 fans but this is the best to come out of their existence imho, vis-a-vis Ulrich Schnauss:

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 28 March 2017 18:03 (two months ago) Permalink

will have a listen tonight

the original track is good but not a fan of spoon and rafter

F♯ A♯ (∞), Tuesday, 28 March 2017 18:08 (two months ago) Permalink

Live gig streaming now on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Slowdive/videos/vb.27491437753/10155203295007754/?type=3&theater

daavid, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:18 (two months ago) Permalink

i mean i love that ulrich schnauss version for sure but it's almost literally just reverb added to the original

just another (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:23 (two months ago) Permalink

new stuff sounding good on this stream

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:42 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah new stuff fitting seamlessly with the classics

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:43 (two months ago) Permalink

they gave that new single a little more muscle than the recording kinda

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 20:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I was there. That was very good.

Warren's Treat (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:53 (two months ago) Permalink

And now that some new songs have been heard -- I've heard an advance of the album, it's quite good. It's different from the previous three in a distinct way -- many of the songs are quite fast paced. Not *really* fast, but certainly in comparison to the steady swing and flow of the original albums, it's got a particular focus on pace that I think serves the album very well, and helps make this a distinct effort.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:55 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't think I've ever listened to Pygmalion, to be honest. The last thing by them I can remember getting were the 'In Mind' remixes. Is it worth seeking it out (22 years late)?

Warren's Treat (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:58 (two months ago) Permalink

Very much so. It's quite remarkable.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:59 (two months ago) Permalink

I suspect this doesn't match the quality of the live stream: https://youtu.be/TJopgXE-MKU

Warren's Treat (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Is there a thread suggesting key shoegaze albums for late period Boredoms fans to check out

Not the real Tombot (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:06 (two months ago) Permalink

Not yet at least.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:11 (two months ago) Permalink

maybe this???? https://www.discogs.com/Xinlisupreme-Tomorrow-Never-Comes/master/482671

is there a thread suggesting key sophistopop albums for late period andrew wk fans to check out

a but (brimstead), Thursday, 30 March 2017 00:31 (one month ago) Permalink

'Sugar for the Pill' sounds great. I'm getting quite excited for this now!

The Roger Waters Experience (Turrican), Thursday, 30 March 2017 01:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah loving that song already and judging from the new material so far there is indeed is slightly muscular edge to their sound that is quite new. Can't wait

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 30 March 2017 08:17 (one month ago) Permalink

Excited for this album. These tracks rule.

yesca, Friday, 31 March 2017 05:11 (one month ago) Permalink

van smack, Sunday, 2 April 2017 23:42 (one month ago) Permalink

wow, they sound fantastic... maybe I need to fly up to Chicago for their show.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 3 April 2017 02:23 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah, I don't really like Sugar Pill all that much. I kinda agree with Pygmalion comparisons but it's also a lot warmer, even poppier which is not a bad thing in itself but overall it sounds really generic, while Pygmalion had some sort of cold vibe which made it really interesting. I wish them all the best, MBV proved that you can come back really strong as a shoegaze band even though this genre is kind of intrinsically nostalgic, that's all fine if they want to evolve their sound, it's just not that great to me.

piramjida, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 11:05 (one month ago) Permalink

I don't know if the genre is 'intrinsically nostalgic,' or if it is, you might as well say that about a lot of music in general, whether it's rock or something else. In that there was often a perceived built in sense of retreat/reflection, that's one thing, but when you've got something like three generations of musicians now doing something with the form one way or another, is it nostalgia or extension? (Certainly, as with so much else, a lot of newer stuff simply recreates rather than fuses and inspires in new directions, but again, why hold them to particular account?)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 13:05 (one month ago) Permalink

I think I'd be down on a band for skewing towards relatively more generic composition but these new songs are hitting me so directly I can't really step back and nitpick.

Evan, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 13:26 (one month ago) Permalink

I think "Sugar for the Pill" works in spite of its straightforward composition. The chorus has a haunting touch that hooked me on the first listen and keeps me relistening, but

it's practically Coldplay

is otm

Vinnie, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 16:44 (one month ago) Permalink

that's your fault for listening to Coldplay, isn't it

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 5 April 2017 17:14 (one month ago) Permalink

always with the victim blaming around here

Vinnie, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 17:17 (one month ago) Permalink

I don't know if the genre is 'intrinsically nostalgic,' or if it is, you might as well say that about a lot of music in general, whether it's rock or something else. In that there was often a perceived built in sense of retreat/reflection, that's one thing, but when you've got something like three generations of musicians now doing something with the form one way or another, is it nostalgia or extension? (Certainly, as with so much else, a lot of newer stuff simply recreates rather than fuses and inspires in new directions, but again, why hold them to particular account?)

Well, obviously you can feel nostalgic about any genre, but when it comes down to shoegaze I feel like some sense of nostalgia, longing, feeling of being young has been present throughout many of those shoegaze classics. I feel like that might be partly why Halstead is so surprised that young people are still listening to Slowdive - it probably felt to him like his music was capturing this youthful, exuberant emotions that by now are long gone, but then he found out that there is a new generation that is able to connect with this feeling. And I mean, yeah, you still have shoegaze bands putting out their music but at least when I think of shoegaze it's mainly those glimpses of great bands like MBV, Ride or Slowdive during early '90s that nobody really came close to ever after.

piramjida, Wednesday, 5 April 2017 17:41 (one month ago) Permalink

I think the first Mojave 3 album is the best one. Very very gentle and the closing track is very Slowdive.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 10 April 2017 22:20 (one month ago) Permalink

"Sugar For The Pill" sounds like it could have come from the Black Hearted Brother album, which I really liked

'Out of Tune' by Mojave 3 has ended up being one of my most loved albums. 'Excuses For Travellers' is also very good and the others have their moments.

The early Mojave 3 demos, that made up part of the first album were originally sent out under the Slowdive name. I was surprised to read that the first M3 album was released within 10 months of 'Pygmalion', it came together that quickly.

Would love a new Mojave 3 record one day, however I am looking forward to Slowdive too.

michaellambert, Monday, 10 April 2017 22:26 (one month ago) Permalink

xp i agree, it has a very different feel from the others. it's like slowcore. very atmospheric, great lead guitar tones

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 01:08 (one month ago) Permalink

The early Mojave 3 demos, that made up part of the first album were originally sent out under the Slowdive name. I was surprised to read that the first M3 album was released within 10 months of 'Pygmalion', it came together that quickly.

wow i didn't know this! will definitely have to dig into to m3

just another (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 02:00 (one month ago) Permalink

Sugar is something very special
And fuck the Coldplay comment because SD are 20 years older than them and experience counts for something

calstars, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 02:52 (one month ago) Permalink

the first four mojave 3 albums are all great, I didn't care for the last one

akm, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 03:31 (one month ago) Permalink

i don't know how many times i've listened to 'don't know why' today, but it is a lot of fucking times, that is for sure

del esdichado (NickB), Saturday, 6 May 2017 21:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i had a very stupid and somewhat embarrasing thought about its structure - it's sort of like the lifecycle of a snowflake:
crystals forming on floating dust particles -> sudden blooming as flakes cohere -> the gradual surrender of melting -> final state of liquid non-being

del esdichado (NickB), Saturday, 6 May 2017 21:47 (three weeks ago) Permalink

poor sad snowflakes ;_;

del esdichado (NickB), Saturday, 6 May 2017 21:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this is a damn good album. there's nothing as good as Alison, but as a whole it seems to be as good as any of their other albums.

― brotherlovesdub, Friday, May 5, 2017 2:41 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

not even close imo

― imago, Friday, May 5, 2017 2:53 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, but how many albums have songs as good as Alison?

passionate plant-based athlete (voodoo chili), Saturday, 6 May 2017 22:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

amazing record. I wasn't a huge fan of Slowdive back in the day so I'm comfortable asserting that "Star Roving" is as good as it gets.

yesca, Sunday, 7 May 2017 03:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Anybody even partially slagging this off is talking absolute nonsense. This is easily their third best album.

Pretty fantastic stuff.

Austin, Sunday, 7 May 2017 05:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i think this is easily better than pygmalion

passionate plant-based athlete (voodoo chili), Sunday, 7 May 2017 06:46 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i think it's their second best, frankly

austinb, Sunday, 7 May 2017 15:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i like this fine. I like all their albums in different ways, not so into ranking them.

akm, Sunday, 7 May 2017 16:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

very good comeback album

ciderpress, Sunday, 7 May 2017 16:41 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This album has grown on me a lot. I'm not sure where I'd rank it right now. It could well be my second favourite. The only song I'm not totally sold on is the last one. The way the, "thinking about love" bit overlaps near the end seems a bit clumsy and grates after a while. Everything up to that point is very enjoyable.

kitchen person, Sunday, 7 May 2017 17:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Dammit, I guess I really should hear this!! Is it better than the My Bloody Valentine comeback album?

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 7 May 2017 18:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yes (i didn't like mbv that much)

austinb, Sunday, 7 May 2017 18:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

not remotely but give this a listen

imago, Sunday, 7 May 2017 18:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

My knee jerk reaction upon hearing mbv four years ago was basically, "Hmmph, guess they needed to wait for this sound to be fashionable again." Because it honestly sounded to me like the follow up recorded right after Loveless, just that they had waited to release it. As good as it is (and it **is** so good, so satisfying), it seemed kind of cold and calculated after the dust had settled.

But this new Slowdive, upon my knee jerk reaction, has me thinking it's a much more rewarding listen, just because of how it germinated and came to life. It feels to me a lot more. . . I don't know, earnest?

Both are really excellent records, but I think the comparisons between them stop at "shoegaze band that hasn't released a new album for a long time."

Austin, Sunday, 7 May 2017 19:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The only song I'm not totally sold on is the last one. The way the, "thinking about love" bit overlaps near the end seems a bit clumsy and grates after a while.

this is my only criticism of the album as well. though on my second listen through, it annoyed me less. i love everything else about that song

just another (diamonddave85), Sunday, 7 May 2017 20:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Good comeback album, but not as GREAT as Portishead's comeback.

van smack, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 03:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

this album is incredible

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 10 May 2017 03:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Doesn't seem to be on their main site yet but there's a live session over on Pitchfork's FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/Pitchfork/videos/vb.28015075999/10155179953621000/?type=2&theater

groovypanda, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 10:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Saw them last night, and despite technical issues at the beginning, they were fantastic. The production was pretty impressive too, with a complex light show and a smoke machine that actually added to the concert experience without being corny

meekseeks mill (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 May 2017 13:23 (two weeks ago) Permalink

A board veteran disapproves. (Said veteran is wrong.)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 13:33 (two weeks ago) Permalink

but he's done the research

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

he calibrates his hot takes with his devotion to Radiohead

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Good comeback album, but not as GREAT as Portishead's comeback.

I agree with this sentiment. I think it was because Portishead evolved their style so much that it felt like a true followup and not a nostalgic look back to what once was. Really exciting record and they had a great live show to go with it, too. While this Slowdive album is certainly a progression, there's also a ton of nostalgia.

I guess Portishead are one and done with their comeback at this point. It's been what... nearly a decade since Third? Hope Slowdive has a few more in them.

octobeard, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Right. The problem is everyone else.

What's the phrase about how the truly insane people are that way because they have no grasp on how abnormal their own behavior is?

Austin, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

xpost, obviously.

Austin, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Be on the lookout for "30th June", a 7.5 minute JP bonus track.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 17:30 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I guess Portishead are one and done with their comeback at this point. It's been what... nearly a decade since Third?

As part of a separate story I was interviewing Adrian Utley last week -- at the end of it I happily confessed to being a fan and said I was looking forward to whatever was next, but I didn't press him on it. Whatever happens does.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 10 May 2017 18:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It's already nine years since Third? It feels like yesterday. When almost ten years seem like a year or so you are old, aren't you? From Dummy to Third felt like an eternity. And it was only 14 years?

Alex in Spree-Athen (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 10 May 2017 20:56 (two weeks ago) Permalink

but he's done the research

ROCK N' ROLL BABY

http://www.theonion.com/article/history-of-rock-written-by-the-losers-736

yesca, Thursday, 11 May 2017 01:14 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"Everyone Knows" is bliss distilled into aural form

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Thursday, 11 May 2017 01:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"Third" was also great because it included one of their best tracks "The Rip"

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Thursday, 11 May 2017 01:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the japanese bonus track has shown up. it's great and i wish it would have been on the album proper

ufo, Thursday, 11 May 2017 13:46 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It would have been funny if he's sung "thinkin' 'bout Slowdive" at the end of Falling Ashes over and over instead

erry red flag (f. hazel), Saturday, 13 May 2017 03:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

he'd

erry red flag (f. hazel), Saturday, 13 May 2017 03:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Finally getting around to hearing this and very much enjoying it. Very good record.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 13 May 2017 20:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The thing I keep hearing on the radio reminds me of China crisis.

koogs, Saturday, 13 May 2017 21:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Does anyone else think Neil sounds like Feargal Sharkey on Slomo?

Warren's Treat (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Monday, 15 May 2017 19:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"star roving" kinda reminds me of this

(a compliment)

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 15 May 2017 21:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

^ The best thing Coldplay ever did.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 15 May 2017 23:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

agreed!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 15 May 2017 23:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've actually lost count of the amount of times I've listened to 'Star Roving' since Saturday.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 02:33 (one week ago) Permalink

having already played Star Roving and Sugar for the Pill a zillion times before the album came out, I'm now focusing on Slomo and Go Get It.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 04:31 (one week ago) Permalink

Suger for the Pill reminds me of John Maus.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 07:57 (one week ago) Permalink

When the drums come in during the intro on "Slomo" I'm reminded of "The Streets of Philadelphia".

willem, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 09:24 (one week ago) Permalink

The hidden track "Chinese Sleep Chant" was described as "a self-conscious parody of shoegaze" with My Bloody Valentine influences. Critics also noted the "wall of sound, heavily processed guitar-swirl and falsetto vocals through reverb."[4][5]

heaven parker (anagram), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 09:39 (one week ago) Permalink

There's more shoegaze DNA in Coldplay than a lot of people would be comfortable admitting - I don't really remember anyone doing that chung-chung-chung straight strummed eight-notes in rock music before shoegaze. And while the differences don't need to be outlined, it does feel like early Coldplay took that blueprint - the lack of rhythmic interest, the aching-but-vague melancholy, and stripped out all the difficult or diffuse bits, simplified the textures and made it anthemic.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:08 (one week ago) Permalink

OTM

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 12:43 (one week ago) Permalink

I've mentioned it awhile back but Star Roving sounds a lot like a sped up version of this:

Evan, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 15:29 (one week ago) Permalink

I barely remember that song, sounds way better than I thought, I wasn't into that album much. Neil Halstead said he liked Serena Maneesh when that album came out.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 18:26 (one week ago) Permalink


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