In 2017, the reunited UK shoegaze legends Ride returned with Weather Diaries, their first album in 21 years. And it wasn’t a one-off. Not long after the album, we got the companion-piece EP Tomorrow’s Shore. And now Ride are getting ready to release their second post-reunion album This Is Not A Safe Place. It’s coming out later this week, and they’ve already shared the strong early singles “Future Love” and “Repetition.” Today, they’ve dropped the third and presumably final advance track from the album. It’s called “Clouds Of Saint Marie,” and it’s lovely.
More than any of the other new Ride songs, “Clouds Of Saint Marie” shoots for straight-up effervescence. It’s got a chiming, almost Byrds-ian guitar riff, a lead vocal that sounds like a sigh, and a central melody that’s triumphant and wistful in equal measures. It’s a song that seems custom-built for festivals, or for sunny afternoons.
Ride always had more rock swagger than most of their ’90s shoegaze peers. (Guitarist Andy Bell did, after all, eventually find his way into Oasis after Ride broke up for the first time.) And these days, they’ve got more melody and grandeur than most of the bands that evoke their blissful heyday. So “Clouds Of Saint Marie” sounds like a song that could be a hit in some alternate reality, where guitar-based rock songs could still be hits. Listen below.
This Is Not A Safe Place is out 8/16 on Wichita Recordings.