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Thread: shoegaze/dreampop

  1. #1
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    shoegaze/dreampop

    the old shoegaze thread was caught up in banter and heated debate about the roots of an otherwise clear genre and was a bit of a mess, so let's try this again. this is a catch all thread for all things shoegaze, a genre coined in the late 80s/early 90s to describe a particular wave of alternative bands. think: layer upon layer of delay, reverb, and chorus pedals (wall of sound style). detached vocals. roots in psycedelica, goth, etc. key bands that influenced include velvet underground, the chameleons, felt, cocteau twins, jesus & mary chain, etc.

    it can be aggressive or more subdued and hauntingly beautiful. i prefer the latter variant, but both are great.

    dreampop dates back even earlier and encompasses the same sort of roots- post punk mixed with ethereal haze. hard to draw the line between the two, outside of time period.

    here's some shoegaze/dreampop anthems for those unfamiliar:

    ride- drive blind
    house of love- christine/shine on
    slowdive- spanish air/alison
    cranes- shining road
    kitchens of distinction- quick as rainbows
    curve- horror head
    pale saints- sight of you
    my bloody valentine- only shallow
    secret shine- loveblind
    mary goes round- mary's garden
    lush- nothing natural
    mazzy star- ghost highway
    medicine- aruca
    jesus & mary chain- april skies
    catherine wheel- black metallic
    lulabox- ride on
    sunshot- stop me
    chapterhouse- falling down
    moose- butterfly collector
    lowlife- from side to side
    cocteau twins- heaven or las vegas
    adorable- sunshine smile
    the chameleons- monkeyland
    for against- echelons
    the cranberries- pathetic senses
    ecstasy of saint theresa- fluidum
    the heart throbs- dreamtime
    swervedriver- duel
    the telescopes- the sleepwalk
    breathless- smash palace

    & hell, even oasis & blur have one great shoegaze song each under their belt (columbia and sing, respectively).

    modern bands i like: a place to bury strangers, screen vinyl image, ceremony, alcest (black metal with shoegaze influences), etc.
    Last edited by frankie teardrop; 12-21-2011 at 11:00 AM.

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    Sweet list, i'm always looking for some new shoegaze.

    New Big Pink album comes out soon if you consider that in the same genre

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    Slowdive are my absolute favourite band (wearing my Just for a Day cover t-shirt while typing this haha). Souvlaki is a great album, but JFaD and Pygmalion are transcendental.

    My Bloody Valentine, as everyone knows, are fantastic. Isn't Anything and Loveless are nigh-on flawless albums.

    Ride are my least favourite of the "Holy Trinity" of shoegaze, but that's not to diminish their excellent discography. "Unfamiliar" is definitely among my favourite songs of all time.

    Cranes are another band that comes highly recommended. Probably my second favourite band to be lumped in the genre (after Slowdive). Eclectic as fuck in terms of sound, but they pull off every genre they toy with really well.

    Seconding the love for A Place to Bury Strangers and Screen Vinyl Image. The Alcest/Amesoeurs sound is fucking great too. Grouper and Motion Sickness of Time Travel are my favourite modern "dream pop" artists (though the latter verges more on ambient/drone territory on many releases).

    One of my favourite lesser-known shoegaze acts is Loop. Similar sound to The Telescopes and the more aggressive cuts from Spacemen 3's output. Heaven's End is trippy, Fade Out has more twisted, edgy psychedelics and A Gilded Eternity (a personal favourite) is one of the most heavy albums in the genre (check out "Afterglow" for a taste). Also, "Arc-Lite" is almost criminally catchy.

    Just recently got into For Against. In the Marshes was a love-at-first-listen affair for me.

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    good call on Alcest. ive been obsessed with them for the past year. such a great mix of sounds. wish they'd tour more in the US, preferably as a headliner.

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    I don't remember who, but someone on the old board introduced me to Slowdive's Primal a few years back. A thousand blessing to whoever you were.

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    jesu count as shoegaze - and they (he) is freaking awesome.

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    Does anyone feel like they have the time to make a starter shoegaze/dreampop Spotify playlist? /n00b

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    Loop were mindblowing. Heavens End = What an album!!!

    Despite being biggest influence's on the scene I see Cocteau Twins and Jesus and Mary Chain as as a separate thing. They were a few years before the term shoegaze really kicked off. It was not till about 1987-88 with Loop and My Bloody Valentine that it really became its own thing.
    Spacemen 3 i find hard to see as shoegaze. Despite being from around the same time.

    Alan Moulder is probably the biggest influence on the shoegaze scene, every band wanted to work with him, Alan and Flood more of less shaped the sound which everyone else copied. He really was the best producer to handle a guitar ever. totally unique.
    I like the agressive, abrasive,noisier louder stuff more. As long as there is a lot of distortion.
    And i LOVE Ride. Can see why people find them a bit tame. But considering they were like 19 years old when they wrote Nowhere it sounds really good.
    Really good pop band. And they really remind me so much of the early 90's. They were a massive influence on Radiohead being both from Oxford. And playing at shitty small venues at the same time.

    Another act that could be seen as slightly shoegaze - The Charlatans, they sort of seemed like the missing link in the UK to the shoegaze baggy war with the Stone Roses , Happy Mondays and all that going on.


    My Bloody Valentine were always seemed ahead of everyone though. They pushed things really far out. I always saw Isnt Anything as the real masterpiece Loveless as over indulgent, but what they really were about was LIVE. To really see why people go on about My Bloody Valentine so much listen to their bootleg in Vancouver 1992. Its a different beast. Pure ecstasy.

    But the band I have come to like the most is Curve. A lot of bands are trying to do now 20 years later what they did back then, mixing distortion with dance beats. Trying to make it work in a band format. Alan Moulder was in charge of everything. He is married to the lead singer now. But fuck, if they had had a bit more direction and possibly been better song writers they would have been huge. Cos their sound is immense. Play them on a loud bassy speaker at volume and its astonishing. You feel like your going into another world. Exhilarating. Only a few songs did it fully come together Horror Head, and Fait Accompli and a few more, but everything they did sounds very cutting edge.

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    i love the charlatans... there's a few bands on the cusp of the madchester/shoegaze sort of crossover, and they've got some great material as well. also agreed on curve. while i love them dearly, i agree that some more ambitious songwriting would have really elevated them to the next level, but that's certainly no complaints against their work, especially the early EPs and doppelganger.

    shreena- i don't spotify, but i meant to make that list above into youtube links, but the auto-embed thwarted me. maybe i can zip you something up before the holidays!

    if you guys dig on ameosoeurs (love them) try a lot of the french coldwave bands. i feel like they combine shoegaze, black metal, and 'la vague froide'/coldwave- a french variant on lush post-punk music. i highly recommend little nemo and asylum party in that vein (though discussion here might have to be another thread if there's sufficient interest).

    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    Just recently got into For Against. In the Marshes was a love-at-first-listen affair for me.
    i am very happy to hear this! when i was playing with the chameleons last year, for against opened, and i was blown away by them. they are always consistent (almost every album is great) though the first three are the best. two words: AMEN YVES!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    Slowdive are my absolute favourite band (wearing my Just for a Day cover t-shirt while typing this haha). Souvlaki is a great album, but JFaD and Pygmalion are transcendental.
    sorry for the double post- but i hear you loud and clear on that. slowdive are debatably my favorite of the lot. and man, did i do some serious making out in college to just for a day. pygmalion is also a really special record, and the one of the most satisfying kiss-offs in (my skewed) history.

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    it's a perfect blend of shoegaze AND dreampop

  12. #12
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    I love me some This Mortal Coil and Mazzy Star. I've just really gotten back into Mazzy lately.

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    Just in case my fellow Mazzy Star fans haven't heard, there is a new album coming out next year (and the first single is available now).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highly Psychological View Post
    Despite being biggest influence's on the scene I see Cocteau Twins and Jesus and Mary Chain as as a separate thing.
    Agreed. Both bands really need their own thread due to the scope and breadth of their work. There's a great Cocteaus thread already, might have to kick off a JAMC one...

    Quote Originally Posted by frankieteardrop View Post
    AMEN YVES!
    Massive song. Can't stop listening to it.

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    "Newgaze" tune of the year.

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    from the early 2000s... just recently issued on vinyl. really can't get enough of this track. coincidentally, it's the closest thing to copying the cocteau twins that i've ever heard, and that's not a complaint!

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    Alcest just announced some tour dates with one of my favorite bands, Deafheaven. Praying for a Seattle or Vancouver date. Deafheaven is insane live and I'll lose it to see Alcest live as well.

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    Would live a SF date for Alcest and Deafheaven. I'm actually seeing Deafheaven open for Wolves in the Throne Room tomorrow and saw them play a headlining set last month. They are so good live.

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    Saw WITR last week, so damn good. Sorry to derail the thread. Love me some shoegaze too!!

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    Had this on fairly heavy rotation of late. Think a more 'gaze-y Seefeel.
    Recently reissued on Captured Tracks as part of the "Shoegaze Archives" project. Check out the other re-releases too. Hope there's more on the way!

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    i remember picking this cd out of the discard bin at my college radio station. still a favorite:


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    Anyone heard School of Seven Bell's cover of MBV's Soo-, er, their new song When You Sing?

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    Every time a Kevin Shields interview gets published, I keep expecting him to say something completely crazy. He's so lucid for someone who's been basically retired for twenty years.
    Last edited by BlueCalx; 04-30-2012 at 04:04 PM.

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    I dont understand the My Bloody Valentine situation. I dont get how you can just sit on material for that long. Unfinished recordings.
    They started work on the follow up to Loveless in 1993. Such a long time ago. Then they broke up around 1998. Kevin joined Primal Scream, and they were then inactive for about 10 years till they reformed.

    He probably has mountains of material. But they just could never seem to just get together for 6 months and put it all together. I have a feeling thought it will be out in the next couple of years.

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    shut ins/perfectionists tend to get that way, especially in light of great accomplishments. of course, i don't know shields, but i figure the attention and the circumstances regarding the recording and release of loveless did a number on him. perhaps he felt the material he was working on wasn't fit to follow that record? too much pressure/lack of confidence? burned out? all hypotheses...

    similarly shadows the scott walker/brian wilson/syd barrett stories.

  27. #27
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    Those reissues look sosososososo good. Day one purchase for sure.

    I'm not too fussed about the possible new album. If it comes out, great. If not, well Isn't Anything, You Made Me Realise and Loveless handily scratch the MBV itch. Isn't Anything is definitely a desert island album for me.

    Semi-unrelated, but Kevin Shields being back on board for the new Scream album and Debbie being in the live band has me excited again about the direction of the band.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    My Bloody Valentine
    Could never really get into them or the Loveless album. The band just sounds stale to me and I don't know why as I tend to like things in their direction.

    Cocteau Twins, Jesus and the Mary Chain and Curve are great bands from the initial list.

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    I want those reissues. Loveless is pretty much in my top 5 albums of all-time. It's not a record to get into at first but it's truly unlike anything out there. Hearing that unreleased track got me excited. I doubt whatever Kevin and the band will do next will ever top that. I don't care. I just hope it's good. Plus, I did enjoy the work Shields did for the soundtrack to Lost in Translation which is truly one of my favorite film soundtracks ever plus it's my favorite film ever.

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    I found Loveless immensely easy to get into. "Only Shallow" is an excellent mission statement to kick things off and I found tracks like "When You Sleep", "To Here Knows When" and "Soon" are very immediate, love-at-first listen affairs. Took me ages longer to 'get' Isn't Anything, but it has since claimed a place even higher than Loveless on my all-time favourites list.

    On top of the pre-ordering the MBV reissues I'm waiting on some other goodies.

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