Rachel Goswell

Rachel Ann Goswell (born 16 May 1971)[1] is an English singer-songwriter and musician who rose to prominence as vocalist and guitarist of the shoegaze band Slowdive, which formed in 1989. Goswell, along with Neil Halstead, Ian McCutcheon and former Chapterhouse member Simon Rowe became Mojave 3 when Slowdive transitioned to a more country/folk rock style.[2] She released a solo album in 2004, titled Waves Are Universal on 4AD Records.

Rachel Goswell
Goswell performing with Slowdive, 2014
Goswell performing with Slowdive, 2014
Background information
Birth nameRachel Ann Goswell
Born (1971-05-16) 16 May 1971 (age 49)
Fareham, England
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
Years active1988–present
Associated acts

Early lifeEdit

Goswell was born in Fareham, England. Her family relocated to Wales after her birth, and later to Reading, Berkshire when she was seven, where she spent the remainder of her youth.[3] She is the second of two children, with one older brother.[3]

Her father taught her folk guitar songs beginning at age seven, and she began studying classical guitar and music theory at age ten.[3] Goswell took classical guitar lessons along with childhood friend Neil Halstead, with whom she formed Slowdive in 1989.[4] Regarding her musical influences, she stated :"For me personally, from a singing point of view, I was inspired by Siouxsie Sioux",[5] "it was [her] who made me want to be a singer."[6] Joni Mitchell, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave were her other favourite singers.[7]


Goswell with Slowdive at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California 2017

Goswell formed the indie rock band The Pumpkin Fairies with Neil Halstead, Adrien Sell and Nick Chaplin in 1988, after having played in several cover bands in Reading.[8] When The Pumpkin Fairies dissolved in 1989, the foursome then formed Slowdive in the same year. [9] She was a member in Slowdive until the band's dissolution in 1995. After the disbandment, Goswell and Halstead formed Mojave 3, an offshoot of Slowdive; the group captured a more folk rock-oriented sound as opposed to Slowdive's shoegaze sound. They released five albums, their last being Puzzles Like You in 2006, before going on a hiatus.[10]

The year 2004 saw Goswell release solo recordings with co-writer Joe Light and producer David Naughton. Nine months after Mojave 3 released Spoon and Rafter, she released The Sleep Shelter EP. Waves Are Universal, her first full-length recording, appeared a month later.[11] Tiny Mix Tapes described the record as "delicate and well-thought out" despite occasionally veering towards "the frankly repulsive world of adult contemporary" while Pitchfork Media thought the album was "warm [and] summery ... agreeable, if not very exciting".[12][13] Stylus Magazine stated that Waves Are Universal is "a solid album that could appeal to both fans of [Goswell's] previous work and others".[14] In February 2005, a limited edition remix 12" (also available as a download) entitled "Coastline"/"Plucked" was issued and features two mixes apiece from The Earlies and Ulrich Schnauss.

In 2014, Slowdive, with Goswell, reformed for gigs and have declared in interviews that they would be working on new material.[10] The band continue to tour. In 2016 Goswell joined Stuart Braithwaite, Justin Lockey and James Lockey to form the band Minor Victories. Their self-titled debut was released in June 2016 on Fat Possum records.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Goswell was married to Air Cuba's Christopher Andrews from 1994 until 2000.[16]

Goswell is partially deaf herself as a result of labyrinthitis (a viral infection) which occurred in 2006.[15] This left her with chronic tinnitus in one ear and she also had debilitating balance problems which required physiotherapy for a year. As a result, Goswell had to stop playing and touring with Mojave 3.[10]

In 2010 Goswell gave birth to a son, Jesse, who has CHARGE syndrome; Jesse is profoundly deaf and has a serious heart condition which resulted in open heart surgery at the age of five months.[17][18][19][20] She is learning British Sign Language and is vocal about the rights of parents of deaf children to have free access to learning sign language.[17] In October 2013 there was a debate in Parliament led by the NDCS (National Deaf Children's Society) where both Rachel and Jesse were mentioned.


Rachel Goswell's 1993 Slowdive guitar rig consisted of a Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline, a Boss OD-2 Turbo Overdrive, a Yamaha FX-500 Multi-FX unit and a Roland JC-77 Jazz Chorus 2x10 combo amp.[21] Since Slowdive reunion in 2014, Rachel Goswell's main guitar on tour is a Custom77 The Roxy – Hollowbody.[22]


Mojave 3
Minor Victories
The Soft Cavalry
Rachel Goswell
  • The Sleep Shelter EP (17 May 2004) 4AD BAD 2402
  • Waves Are Universal (14 June 2004) 4AD CAD 2414
  • "Coastline"/"Plucked" single (14 February 2005) 4AD TAD 2501

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVW5-B1V2 : 1 October 2014), Rachel Ann Goswell, 1971; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Gosport, Hampshire, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Rachel Goswell Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Goswell, Rachel (20 July 2004). "Rachel Goswell - Interview Part 1". Pennyblack Music (Interview). Interviewed by Anthony Strutt. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Rachel Goswell of Slowdive". Creation Records. October 2002. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  5. ^ Trunick, Austin "Slowdive Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell on the bands that inspired them". Undertheradar". June/July 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015
  6. ^ Graeme Thomson. "The Return of Slowdive". heraldscotland.com. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017
  7. ^ Luis Fernando Romero Alcántar. With Rachel Goswell about Slowdive, Shoegaze and her supergroup. yaconic.com. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  8. ^ Buckley & Lewis 1996, p. 799.
  9. ^ Buckley & Edroso 2003, p. 956.
  10. ^ a b c Clay, Joe (29 January 2014). "There Seems To Be A Lot Of Love Out There: A Slowdive Interview". The Quietus. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Points of Impact". CMJ New Music Report. 14 June 2004 – via Google Books.  
  12. ^ "Waves Are Universal". Tiny Mix Tapes. c. 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (8 September 2004). "Waves Are Universal". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  14. ^ Mathers, Ian (22 July 2004). "Waves Are Universal". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  15. ^ a b DeVille, Chris (21 May 2016). "Q&A: Minor Victories' Rachel Goswell On Hearing Loss, Mark Kozelek, And The Future Of Slowdive". Stereogum. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  16. ^ Goswell, Rachel (24 September 2004). "Rachel Goswell - Interview Part 3". Pennyblack Music (Interview). Interviewed by Anthony Strutt. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  17. ^ a b Kusumah, Aldy (February 2013). "RACHEL GOSWELL: "I am so out of touch with current music."". The Bastards of Young. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  18. ^ "December 1 – "No Substitute" by Rachel Goswell". This Is That Song. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Rachel Goswell biography". In.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  20. ^ Roberts, Michael (6 May 1996). "Just Deserts". Denver Westword. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  21. ^ Cooper, Adam (25 Apr 1999). "Rachel Goswell's 1993 Slowdive Guitar Rig" Archived 29 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. GuitarGeek.Com.
  22. ^ "Rachel Goswell of Slowdive In Premier Guitar". Lindsey Best. Retrieved 21 May 2016.


External linksEdit