Back in 2016 I spoke to Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, who was promoting her supergroup Minor Victories at the time. Our conversation touched on Goswell’s own hearing loss stemming from an ear infection called labyrinthitis, which necessitated a nearly decade-long hiatus from music, as well as her son’s profound deafness due to a genetic disorder.
These days Goswell is rolling out a self-titled album from yet another band, the Soft Cavalry, a partnership with Steve Clarke, who she married last year. They shared the project’s lead single “Dive” in April, and today they’ve returned with another one called “Bulletproof.” The song arrives with a video featuring the bandmates communicating the lyrics in sign language, in tribute to Goswell’s son.
Here’s Goswell with more:
For a long time now I have wanted to do a video that incorporates BSL (British Sign Language) due to my son being Profoundly Deaf with no hearing. He also has additional needs with CHARGE Syndrome that brings many added complications. I live within two worlds both Hearing and Deaf; and have learned a lot in the last nine years about the many barriers Deaf people can face in our society. One of the main points I was taught very quickly is how music is accessible to Deaf people. Of course music can be felt through vibration but visually I feel so much more could be done to enhance the experience. We made this video with the support of Sign Up BSL to translate “Bulletproof” so that the song flows properly in BSL. Sometimes with signing videos — they can be a literal translation of the words (Sign Supported English) which will make little sense to the Deaf viewer. Our hope is that we have achieved this and also that one day as my son gets older and develops his language skills he will be able to understand this song.
Cool stuff, and the tune itself is a winner, too. Watch below.
The Soft Cavalry is out 7/5 on Bella Union. Pre-order it here.