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Shoegaze. The topic that celebrates itself


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After seeing the response to some Slowdive records in the classifieds, I thought a shoegaze thread was deserved*, as it appears to be a genre that's hidden in plain sight. For those unfamiliar with the genre, best to check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoegaze 

 

Quote

Shoegaze (sometimes called "dream pop") is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. The term shoegaze was coined by the British music press to describe the stage presence of a wave of neo-psychedelic groups who stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state with their heads down. This was because the heavy use of effects pedals meant the performers were often looking down at the readouts on their pedals during concerts.

...
A loose label given to the shoegaze bands and other affiliated bands in London in the early 1990s was The Scene That Celebrates Itself."

 

 

I started listening to shoegaze in the early 1990s. I was assured by friends I trusted that My Bloody Valentine's `Loveless` was a masterpiece, and that I would love it. Coming from a more synth pop background (New Order, Depeche Mode, etc), I listened and asked "What is this noise?". But, after some encouragement and enough listens, I heard the music inside the noise and was hooked. Thinking it was a brief moment in musical history, I was really pleased when artists like Ulrich Schnauss, Serena-Maneesh and M83 started releasing music that sounded shoegaze in the early 2000s. And nowadays, there's a crazy number of new bands and releases coming out weekly. 

 

Would love to chat with like-minded folks. I love the usual suspects; MBV, Ride, Slowdive, Lush, Chapterhouse, etc. I don't mind Cocteau Twins, but it never clicked with me as much. Swervedriver also never really connected with me. (Happy to have constructive conversations about this if you disagree).

 

In more recent times, I've loved the stuff by Ringo Deathstarr, Mint Julep, and many more.

 

But there's also world-class Australian bands too; Lowtide and Flyying Colours (who have a new album out next week) are definitely high on my list there. 

 

If you've never tried Shoegaze, give these pillars a try:

 

 

 

And if you're already hooked, tell us a story about your journey.

 

 

 

* I did find some six year old short threads about it, but thought a re-launch might be best, moderators feel free to scold as appropriate if that was the wrong thing.

Edited by mbd
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Catherine Wheel is shoegaze for me.

 

discuss.

 

😅😆😎

 

Not a slowdive, Swervedriver, Chapterhouse, ride, Lush fan.

For me it's MBV and Catherine Wheel mainly. 

 

And  I'm a Cocteau Twins fan, though that's more 'ethereal pop' for me and I never associate them with that other genre.

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New Flyying Colours album arrived today, highly recommend it! Available on Vinyl, too

 

https://flyyingcolours.bandcamp.com/album/fantasy-country

 

@candyflip I don’t mind some Catherine Wheel but they kind of changed direction around ‘95-ish and I lost interest. I should give it another listen, just in case it’s aged well and my more lenient ears like it. 

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Awesome. 

 

Mostly Ride, Slowdive and Jesus and Mary Chain here.

 

Fans of Ride’s Nowhere (and you all should be) should check out Sydney band Swirl. Their 1995 album The Last Unicorn is amazing. Like an ode to the Boss Digital Delay Reverb pedal :D 

 

 

 

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With a title like 'Blue Day', what colour would you make the vinyl, if given a choice? White marbled? Me neither. Sounds good, though. 

13E0C879-B472-4DE1-96DF-DE776A5BB699.jpeg

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I’m a very big shoe gaze fan. loved lots of the big bands, but also some of the local attempts too (see early underground lovers for example).


If you are on that tip, the last Diiv record, Deceiver should be on your recent plays.


The latest Mogwai record is very close to exiting post rock and joining shoe gaze now too.

 

Also, if Cheatahs passed you by with their first record, go grab it now.

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I 2nd the DIIV album.  It's superb. 

 

Film School - Bright to Death is great as well

 

 

 

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Liked slowdive and lush, I have MBV compilation but not so keen on them, saw them live in Perth , was LOUD 

 

do have this tho, pretty cool 

 

AF55FEC0-A1F7-4AA5-818D-E502722B985D.jpeg

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I’ve got that compilation. Some great stuff on it.

 

I hope everyone commenting has watched this doco?

“Beautiful Noise” is such a great summary of this musical style.

 

I love MBV, I like earlier Swervedriver (especially Mezcal Head) and Ride, some Slowdive, early Lush and really enjoyed the Boo Radleys. 

 

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Some early morning Shoegaze vibe for you all. A few well known examples and a few possibly less known variants that bring on Blackgaze (black metal had a baby with shoe gaze) and give a heavy influence on shoe gaze (Bob Mould) a chance to go full MBV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BugPowderDust
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DIIV, Bloodhounds On My Trail, Lowtide, Pinkshinyultrablast, as well as the older standards like Ride, MBV, Lush, Ringo Deathstarr, Slowdive, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Curve.

 

I note that the latest DIIV album was praised above, it's less good to me than the previous one (Is The Is Are) where they were messed up with drugs.

 

The only shoegaze band I've seen live were Bloodhounds On My Trail, at The Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood.

 

PS. I loved The Blog That Celebrates Itself and was dismayed when it closed. I've bought many of their compilation albums over the years.

Edited by pwstereo
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4 hours ago, pwstereo said:

DIIV, Bloodhounds On My Trail, Lowtide, Pinkshinyultrablast, as well as the older standards like Ride, MBV, Lush, Ringo Deathstarr, Slowdive, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Curve.

 

I note that the latest DIIV album was praised above, it's less good to me than the previous one (Is The Is Are) where they were messed up with drugs.

 

The only shoegaze band I've seen live were Bloodhounds On My Trail, at The Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood.

 

PS. I loved The Blog That Celebrates Itself and was dismayed when it closed. I've bought many of their compilation albums over the years.

 

DIIV  -  Is The Is Are is brilliant

  More pure shoegaze than Deceiver.  Deceiver is a slow burner and shows a heavier note dense sound compared to the more poppy shoegaze of the previous. 

 

  Both wonderful,  as is Oshin.

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8 minutes ago, metal beat said:

I would never call Sugar or Bob Mould shoegaze.

 

It's funny how in retrospect I hear shoegaze in songs/bands I'd never thought of as shoegaze. The Bob Mould song above in an example of that. Without his vocals it totally sounds shoegaze to me, but once he starts singing my mind disregards. Like goths though, I think shoe gazers love to discuss what is and isn't that genre. I've seen some incredible suggestions on a FB group of what people think are shoegaze and thought 'never!'. Even the compilation above from Cherry Records has Drugstore, Luna and Sweet Jesus; I like their music mostly, but don't really see it as shoegaze. That said, I'm pretty okay with everyone having their own opinion on it. Who's to say what is or isn't.

 

4 hours ago, pwstereo said:

Bloodhounds On My Trail, at The Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood.

 

I saw them at the Grace Darling as well - was it on the really hot night in December a few years ago? 

 

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6 minutes ago, mbd said:

 

I saw them at the Grace Darling as well - was it on the really hot night in December a few years ago?

I just looked back through my Instagram, it was the 8th of October 2015.

They broke a guitar during the set.

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51 minutes ago, metal beat said:

I would never call Sugar or Bob Mould shoegaze.

Not a shoe gaze band, but Bob was a direct influence on many of the shoe gaze guys (Kevin Shields, Rob Dickinson) and that track in question was written directly because of MBV. 

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49 minutes ago, metal beat said:

  More pure shoegaze than Deceiver.  Deceiver is a slow burner and shows a heavier note dense sound compared to the more poppy shoegaze of the previous. 

 

Deceiver is more MBV than the previous records.  The swoony guitars and tremolo work is so much like Loveless in parts.

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So, thanks to you lot, I've listened to all of DIIV and all but two of Ride's records today while working from home.

I'd have finished Ride too, but the diabolical Ride - Clouds In The Mirror (This Is Not A Safe Place reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder) got included in my Volumio selections and I'd listened to a significant part of it before I realised what was going on.

Tomorrows Shore (EP) and Weather Diaries are the two I haven't got to yet.

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1 hour ago, pwstereo said:

So, thanks to you lot, I've listened to all of DIIV and all but two of Ride's records today while working from home.


You made it through all of Tarantula?
 

🏆 for you. 

 

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for  maybe 5 years I listened to Ride - Going Blank Again at 33 speed instead of 45rpm.  I did not realise it was a double 45rpm release.

 

still to this day, I actually prefer playing it at 33 1/3rd  - Mark's vocals just sound drug fuuked and the music so much denser - quite cool actually.

Edited by metal beat
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16 minutes ago, mbd said:

You made it through all of Tarantula?

Yes, that's the long one with the gun on the cover isn't it 🙂

I was working, so it wasn't up loud and getting all my attention.

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1 hour ago, metal beat said:

for  maybe 5 years I listened to Ride - Going Blank Again at 33 speed instead of 45rpm.  I did not realise it was a double 45rpm release.

 

Kind of related. Last weekend I was listening to Slowdive's 'Just for a Day' at 45pm accidentally for over half of one side before noticing. It sounded like The Sundays.

 

But I prefer it at regular speed. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lush was my favourite of the Shoegazing bands, although they hated the term. Gala was actually an amalgam of their first 3 EPs. It has their classic track De-luxe. After this, they released Spooky, which would be their most refined release, and then the sound changed markedly, and I don't know if it could really be called Shoegaze at that point, but it was still a very Lush-like sound. Unfortunately, after 4 albums (if you count Gala as an album), their drummer committed suicide, and that was the end of the band.

 

MBV, Ride and others didn't quite measure up to the mark in my mind as Lush. I quite like Cocteau Twins, but Robin Guthrie was responsible for too many swirly bits on Gala and Spooky. The mix got swamped and lost focus. The later two albums from Lush lost the swirly bits, and were the better for it.

 

Underground Lovers - Promenade - Is that Shoegaze!?!?! I like the Underground Lovers - and have like 5 albums of theirs - but I don't know that I'd call them Shoegaze? Promenade is a brilliant song.

 

Catherine Wheel - There's two different bands with the same name, but I haven't been able to track down the albums of either of them. The one I really want is the Australian one, the UK one seems to be the one everyone references.

 

There's a Queensland band called The Double Happiness who've recently released an album called Surfgazing. The album title says it all. They're half Shoegaze, and half something else. I highly recommend giving them a listen if you like Shoegaze.

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Some is afoot with My Bloody Valentine…

 

https://mybloodyvalentine.org

 

 

839FE278-D42E-42B2-9215-94D5C8A3AD40.jpeg

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On 29/03/2021 at 1:20 PM, Dingbat said:

Underground Lovers - Promenade - Is that Shoegaze!?!?! I like the Underground Lovers - and have like 5 albums of theirs - but I don't know that I'd call them Shoegaze? Promenade is a brilliant song.

 

Catherine Wheel - There's two different bands with the same name, but I haven't been able to track down the albums of either of them. The one I really want is the Australian one, the UK one seems to be the one everyone references.

Early Underground Lovers (Leaves Me Blind) was very shoegaze of the time. They got signed to 4ad then because of their closeness to the UK scene.

 

Catherine wheel in Australia was the band that turned into Pollyanna and they did a half passable attempt at a cross between the Posies and Sugar. 
 

This was a good read when I found it a while back: https://lnwy.co/read/story-shoegaze-7-records/

Edited by BugPowderDust
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On 10/03/2021 at 11:04 AM, metal beat said:

for  maybe 5 years I listened to Ride - Going Blank Again at 33 speed instead of 45rpm.  I did not realise it was a double 45rpm release.

 

still to this day, I actually prefer playing it at 33 1/3rd  - Mark's vocals just sound drug fuuked and the music so much denser - quite cool actually.

I'm now trying to imagine "Leave them all behind" 45 played at 33. It seems like it was playing slow even at correct speed.

 

I will admit to almost getting through one side of a War on Drugs album 45 at 33, before chucking a fit about dirges.😁

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12 hours ago, BugPowderDust said:

Early Underground Lovers (Leaves Me Blind) was very shoegaze of the time. They got signed to 4ad then because of their closeness to the UK scene.

 

Catherine wheel in Australia was the band that turned into Pollyanna and they did a half passable attempt at a cross between the Posies and Sugar. 
 

This was a good read when I found it a while back: https://lnwy.co/read/story-shoegaze-7-records/

 

Never personally in my mind labelled Underground Lovers like that, but yes, Leaves Me Blind is in a Shoegaze style. That and Cold Feeling (totally different in style) are the albums I like most from them.

 

Thanks for sharing that article. Interesting read. Most of the bands I've heard of, though at the time, I didn't get a chance to track down some of their material. I remember hearing a Moose song on the radio - Uptown Invisible - thinking it was fantastic, but couldn't find their CD in the store back then.

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22 hours ago, mbd said:

Some is afoot with My Bloody Valentine…

 

https://mybloodyvalentine.org

 

 

839FE278-D42E-42B2-9215-94D5C8A3AD40.jpeg

Now on streaming services and represses of everything I have on many formats before. I grabbed a few T-shirts but otherwise I have it all

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I've been a fan of LUSH, MBV, J&MC and CLOUDS for a long time.
I missed this song at the time it came out, but this is a shoegaze masterpiece

 

 

 

 

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