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Slow Loris And Journalistic Redemption

Three and half years ago, amidst a frenzied bout of bandcamp surfing, I stumbled upon Slow Loris' Routine Glow. Pleasantly awestruck by the album-long aesthetic continuity and the intricately-hemmed palette that whoever had made this was drawing from, it crawled into my tiny mp3 player where it remains to this day. Routine Glow's sonic inspirations were relatively transparent; Pavement, Beach Fossil's self-titled debut and a hint of Tame Impala's lysergic drunkenness were all at play, but the album never evoked nostalgia nor did it pander to it's influences, rather it explored itself with a stoned and sunny introspectiveness. At the time I was writing artist bio's for Captured Tracks in return for 30-second shopping sprees in their vinyl warehouse, but somehow it never occurred to me to slap a burnt copy of this on Mike Snipers desk.

Over the past three years I have periodically been on the Slow Loris bandcamp page and a wordpress blog that the band sporadically posts things on. After a few tragic web visits, that revealed no sign of new music or show listings, I began to feel a bit dejected and felt myself a bit of a bastard for never writing about the band. I couldn't understand how such a brilliant album had gone virtually unnoticed and how I had allowed one of my most favorite releases of the past decade to escape even my own journalistic praise. Even more embarrassing, as I soon found out, was that Slow Loris was not a band, but rather the work of a young man named Wes Doyle, who also happened to live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Looking back I can empathize with my inclination to think of Slow Loris as a group; the sonic complexity is far beyond your typical bedroom project and the mental image of 4 loris' playing this live (with maybe a sloth on the bass) was initially too intoxicating to admit otherwise. But upon further reflection it makes total sense that a brilliant lo-fi, psych-rock record with such a profound cohesiveness would fall from the sky due to one individual's labour. Slow Loris, in both content and influence is essentially personal, the prevalence of isolation and solitude speaks to this, as do the fingerprints of a strikingly meticulous hand.

Today I awoke with an email from bandcamp in my inbox, I was slightly irritated by the amount of spam that it was embedded between and right as I was about to treat it with an acrimonious click, I saw “Slow Loris”. Scrambling, my dry and nail-less fingers brought me to that familiar bandcamp page, where atop sat a new 5 song EP entitled Pictures Of Everything.

Wes Doyle's latest release comes after an attempt at painting 30 paintings in one year (which as far as his wordpress page reveals, he did not complete), a smattering of youtube links that range from Stravinsky to VietCong, an apparent visit to the Appalachian Trail and a short story I suspect of being autobiographical that he wrote entitled Hobart. Doyle's eclectic range of interests may explain what kept him from releasing music for three and a half years, but ultimately I do not know. On Pictures Of Everything Doyle seems a bit more refined in his recording process, his song-structuring a bit more cogent but nevertheless meandering. The EP is a great glimpse in the evolution of Doyle's work, the songs function independently of one another and serve to illuminate a clear progression in Doyle's abilities. “A Writer Gets Older” touches on Pavement, “Appalachian Rider” peacefully twists to the cadence of a babbling creek and “Marta” features a slightly more agitated guitar, while Doyle repeats “I'm not anyone”, before ending abruptly, in what is hopefully just a comma in his sonic musings.


Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee