When Driving Slow Motion started about four years ago, the quintet wanted to stretch the listening experience. The post-rockers soon became a live experience in North Texas. Now with the release of their second album, guitarists Bryan Freymuth, Jason Reed, and Nick Valdez, with bassist Carter Stark and drummer Dustin Weaver, are ready to pick up where they left off post-lockdown.
Adrift:Abyss is now out on Post Recordings, the band’s Indianapolis-based label. Weaver recorded and mixed the six tracks, and Troy Glessner at Spectre Studios (Death Cab for Cutie, August Burns Red, Underoath) in Renton, Washington, mastered them.
“It’s our favorite release yet,” Weaver said. “It’s a beautiful balance of our past sounds and where we’re headed musically.”
Before they became Driving Slow Motion, the guys just jammed together. It wasn’t until they released a few tracks digitally that they realized they had something special.
“Everything from our live shows to the songs we write and record, we want to evoke emotion, we want people to feel caught up in it and carried away,” Weaver said. “We have our own feelings and inspirations that go into the songs, but we want people to derive their own, which is why we have no lyrics.”
Driving Slow Motion began playing the North Texas circuit. After the group’s self-titled single in 2018, an album the following year, and the 2020 single “Nightfall,” the world went on lockdown, which delayed 2020’s production and led to a canceled tour.
The guys say the lockdown definitely influenced their songwriting.
“The pandemic really affected all of us and our families,” Weaver said, “but it also gave us time to slow down and visit the message we wanted to send with these songs. It allowed for a robust demoing process and to approach the record as more of a short film soundtrack, if you will.”
Doing it safely, the band was able to churn out Adrift:Abyss.
“We all had time to be in the house and think of stuff and write things,” Reed said. “I think if we didn’t have as much time to be inside, I think this album wouldn’t be what it is.”
The band was forced to think of its direction, Weaver added. “That time of reflection allowed us to focus on what sounds we wanted to capture, as in not so much of a straightforward post-rock record but more of a soundtrack vibe. We spent loads of time picking the right reverbs and textures to blend so that you’re not hearing one specific pedal in the mix but more of an overall sound that we hoped would captivate the listener.”
Each chord on the record strikes a flowing, organic sound. It’s all best taken in a dreamlike state.
The band’s two recently released videos — for “Leaves” in July and “The Fall” in August — were filmed by Freymuth, Valdez, and Stark at the Colorado sand dunes, “an abstract visual narrative,” Weaver said, “to show places of reflection on oneself and the feeling of having to navigate through a trying time alone.”
Adam Dodson, a mutual friend and a visual designer, partnered with the group and helped with assembling the video footage along with producing the album art and establishing the overall visual design. The dreamy visual vibe extends to the stage, where Driving Slow Motion uses a lot of intense imagery and lighting. The band’s next two local shows are Nov. 20 at Harvest House in Denton and Dec. 2 at Tulips FTW on the Near Southside.