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 46)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Genres Alternative rock, indie rock, shoegazing, dream pop, folk
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Associated acts The Pumpkin Fairies, Slowdive, Zurich, Mojave 3, Black Hearted Brother

Neil Halstead (born 7 October 1970) is an English musician born in Reading, Berkshire, England. 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 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][5]

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 2002,[6][7][8] 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,[9] while God Is In The TV called it "undoubtedly one of the finest British records released this year".[10]

Halstead formed the project Black Hearted Brother in 2013,[11] releasing one album, Stars Are Our Home.[12]

Slowdive, including Halstead, reformed in 2014,[13] and released their fourth self-titled album in 2017.[14]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Sleeping on Roads (2002, 4AD)
  • Oh! Mighty Engine (2008, Brushfire)
  • Palindrome Hunches (2012, Brushfire)

Guest appearances[edit]