Ride’s new album Interplay contains some of the best songs they have ever written. It is a record in the old-school sense, a rich listen that flows from start to finish, at times urgent and formidable, at others wistful and melancholic.
In the magical kaleidoscopic that is shoegaze, Ride emerges once again as pioneers with their latest album, Interplay. The Oxford quartet, now in their second phase since reforming in 2014, surpass the longevity of their '90s incarnation. Their musical odyssey, spanning three albums since the reformation, has now given birth to a sonic masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of their genre.
"Peace Sign," the album's lead single, sets the stage for the auditory journey that Interplay promises. With a driving bassline, euphoric '80s-inspired synths, and a touch of saxophone magic, the track is a gateway into Ride's evolved musical universe.
This album follows the acclaimed Weather Diaries (2017) and This Is Not A Safe Place (2019), reigniting the Ride spark and captivating both devoted fans and a new generation of music enthusiasts. Produced by the band alongside Richie Kennedy and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, Interplay seamlessly weaves through the frenzied guitar attacks, hypnotic grooves, and dreamy melodic hooks that define Ride's legacy.
The thematic richness of the album revisits classic Ride lyrical hallmarks - escapism, dreams, and the dissatisfaction of modern life. However, it adds a layer of resilience and perseverance born from the band's tumultuous journey, imploding and reforming to reach a second peak. Guitarist and singer Andy Bell reflects on the album's creation, saying, "This album has taken a long time to make... But it has seen us come through the process as a band in a good place, ready to celebrate the combined musical talents that brought us together in the first place."
Drawing inspiration from '80s bands like Tears For Fears, Talk Talk, and early U2, Interplay connects the dots of Ride's career. The sonic template is more expansive, a testament to their evolution and willingness to embrace new influences.
Made up of guitarists/vocalists Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, alongside drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt, Ride's journey began in Oxford in 1988. Their recalibration of indie-rock, which was dubbed shoegaze, on their seminal debut Nowhere in 1990, garnered critical and commercial success. However, intra-band turmoil led to a hiatus in 1996.
The reformation in 2014 Ride found them among a new wave of bands who owed their existence to the band and their peers. Now, in 2024, as shoegaze experiences a resurgence with a new wave of Gen-Z fans, Ride stands at the forefront. With artists like DIIV, bdrmm, and Just Mustard leading the charge, Ride's influence is unmistakable. Interplay not only reaffirms Ride's relevance but propels them to new creative heights, proving that a quarter of a century since their inception, they are not just enduring but thriving in a sonic renaissance.