Neil Halstead

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Neil Halstead
Neil Halstead.jpg
Neil Halstead performing at The Faversham, Leeds on 22 September 2008.
Background information
Born (1970-10-07) 7 October 1970 (age 48)
Reading, Berkshire, England
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock, shoegazing, dream pop, folk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Associated actsThe Pumpkin Fairies, Slowdive, Zurich, Mojave 3, Black Hearted Brother

Neil Halstead (born 7 October 1970) is an English musician who sings and plays guitar in shoegazing band Slowdive. He has been hailed by AllMusic as “one of Britain's most respected songwriters",[1] and Time Out as "one of Britain's greatest songwriters".[2]


Halstead was born in Reading, Berkshire, England. He is a singer/guitarist and served as frontman and primary songwriter for the shoegazing band Slowdive, formed in 1989 out of his first band, the Pumpkin Fairies.[3] Slowdive released the albums Just for a Day (1991), Souvlaki (1993), Pygmalion (1995) and Slowdive (2017).

Halstead also recorded with a side project called Zurich with members of Seefeel and Knives ov Resistance; the trio's sole album was released in 2009.[4]

After their 1995 breakup, Slowdive morphed into the Halstead-helmed Mojave 3 and released a string of highly celebrated records that merged jangly alt-country with dusky psychedelic dream pop.

In 2006, Mojave 3 went on indefinite hiatus, prompting Halstead to embark on an acoustic-driven solo career marked by an emphasis on British folk-inspired melody and a love of surfing. An occasional drift into more whimsical territory prompted NME to describe Halstead as "like Syd Barrett if he’d ever set foot on a surf board". Halstead's first solo album, Sleeping on Roads, was released in 2001,[5][6][7] followed by Oh! Mighty Engine (2008), released on friend and fellow surfer Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records label. Halstead's third solo album, Palindrome Hunches, was released in 2012; it was described as "an exquisite set of dark folk music" by The Times,[8] while God Is In The TV called it "undoubtedly one of the finest British records released this year".[9]

Halstead formed the project Black Hearted Brother in 2013,[10] releasing one album, Stars Are Our Home.[11]

Slowdive, including Halstead, reformed in 2014, and released their fourth self-titled album in 2017.[12]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Sleeping on Roads (2001, 4AD)
  • Oh! Mighty Engine (2008, Brushfire)
  • Palindrome Hunches (2012, Brushfire)

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Neil Halstead - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Richard Winham Interviews Neil Halstead". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The Pumpkin Fairies discography". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Important Records announces upcoming LPs by Ashley Paul, Zurich, Aidan Baker, and Mugstar + Damo Suzuki". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  5. ^ Sleeping on Roads - Neil Halstead, AllMusic. "Release Date: January 28, 2002; Duration: 48:20"
  6. ^ Neil Halstead: Sleeping on Roads, "Release Date: January 28, 2002; Label: 4AD; Copyright: 2002 4AD Ltd; Length: 48:19"
  7. ^ iTunes - Music - Sleeping on Roads by Neil Halstead. "Released: Jul 01, 2001; ℗ 2001 4AD; Length: 48:19"
  8. ^ "Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches". Rough Trade. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Neil Halstead – Palindrome Hunches (Sonic Cathedral) - God Is In The TV". 1 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Black Hearted Brother: Stars Are Our Home". 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  11. ^ "The Quietus - Reviews - Black Hearted Brother". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  12. ^ "New Album Announcement". Retrieved 17 October 2018.