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Kyle

From Shoegaze to Dream Pop

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Hmm, in retrospect, I probably should have posted about Melody's Echo Chamber here, as this debut (streaming on NPR) fits both shoegaze and dream pop! Anyway, see my post about this disc-- it's one of the best in this vein that I've heard in quite a while!

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Sleep Experiments is a trio from Pittsburgh. I know two of the folks, and they make really pretty, ambient dream pop that I can genuinely say is good (and not just because I'm friends with some of them). They recorded an EP a few years ago, and they started a Kickstarter campaign to record an LP last week and already met their goal (so it's a sure thing!)

The Sleep Experiments album is now available on Bandcamp, and it's very lovely. Highly recommended for fans of Ida, Low, and Velour 100. I've posted a few thoughts here.

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Lotsa good bands already mentioned.

I still listen to The Jesus and Mary Chain a lot. Starflyer 59 is my most favorite christian rock band. Amusement Parks on Fire, Black Angels, BRMC, Brian Jonestown Massacre (some of these are more psychedelic than shoegaze, but they're still called shoegaze by some sites), Crystal Stilts, Atlas Sound, Darker My Love, Hammock is probably the most shoegaze post rock band out there, that I've heard at least...or would that be Jesu...I love Jesu, Mazzy Star, Maps, M83, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The Radio Dept., Deerhunter, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Sun Dial, The War on Drugs, Wild Nothing, Yuck. Just a few of the ones that stand out to me. I know soome of these might not even be considered pure shoegaze, but there's shoegazing elements in them.

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Nice link, Jason. I wouldn't pick anything but Loveless for the #1 spot - it has a good case for being among the best from any genre - but I get where some people might pick something with a bit more clarity.

Edited by bloop

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Nice link, Jason. I wouldn't pick anything but Loveless for the #1 spot - it has a good case for being among the best from any genre - but I get where some people might pick something with a bit more clarity.

 

Heh heh, the list is called the NON-Loveless list for a reason!

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Oh yeah, I know that. I was just responding to your #1 choice.

 

Oh, I had meant it was my #1 pick for a similar, non-Loveless list. (Instead of Ride's album.)

Edited by Jason Panella

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I have so much Slowdive on rotation that it's honestly a little pathetic. I find something Coleridgean about listening to it, a sort of melancholic haze. In my mind, scenes from Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy always play when I listen to certain tracks - "Avalyn I" and "II" go well with imagining the ending of Blue to me, for instance.
As for Ride, first two albums and assorted EPs. Nowhere is still a bracing sonic supernova, but Going Blank Again is underrated. In fact the only tracks I don't really care for there are "Not Fazed" and "Time Machine" - neither ever did much for me. Even "Making Judy Smile" makes me, indeed, smile - I could totally see a Paisley Underground group like the Rain Parade doing a good version of that.
My Bloody Valentine still means a lot to me. Besides Isn't Anything, Loveless, and m b v (which finally being able to hear brought tears of joy to my eyes), EPs 1988-91 is something I'm very proud of owning - see, since I don't actually have MBV yet, I repeat, yet, I was able to acquire the other two albums on the dirt cheap, and shelling out $22 for a new compilation is very rare for me to do. The version of "To Here Knows When" on Tremolo is the definitive cut, with that alternate ending. I'm also very fond of the "Strawberry Wine" b/w "Never Say Goodbye" single - not as much the Ecstasy mini album, though. Plus, I was once able to find mp3s of the Loom bootleg/ROIO, which I absolutely LOVE. (I don't feel bad about ROIOs if I've purchased the material they were touring to support - good thing none of the bands I'm emotionally invested enough in to collect such recordings do "greatest hits" tours, because I wouldn't go that far!)
And Lush, my gateway to shoegaze/dream pop. "Sweetness and Light" still reminds me of the Star Gate sequence in 2001. I cherish Gala, Spooky, Split, and even Lovelife. Lovelife, though actually makes me feel very melancholy. I know they weren't selling out, and their pop was always top-notch, but it took me a little while to be able to enjoy it without feeling too sad, what with the band's fate and all.
(Also, though I'm well aware that it was a sort-of tongue-in-cheek deal, "Ladykillers" hits uncomfortably close to home because, first of all, my narcissistic one-time foster brother did all those things and attracted all the girls, even the ones I was crushing on, and although he indeed was very troubled, he had built up so much of a callus that I saw the real him too late, and even then it was only for a moment. I swear, although his relationships never end well, his way with the ladies is so cultish that he could be the next David Koresh if his narcissism turned into a full-blown messianic complex. I'd like to think it's because it's high school, but you never know. Also, the song encapsulates exactly the manipulative player I couldn't bear to be thought of as by women. Man, I'm too sensitive to live.)


 

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If you want a nice facsimile of that '90s 'gaze sound, it's worth checking out the debut album Guilty of Everything from the band Nothing (not to be confused with the other band Nothing, who sound like EDM or something). The more I listen to Guilty of Everything (which is a lot, at least 20 full listens since last week), the more I realize it's really an earnest pop album covered in a sheen of guitar effects. Maybe the most poppy track from the album: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsajdazBhKo

 

A few of the tracks remind of me Teenage Fanclub's A Catholic Education which, while not a great album, had a nice balance between pop and shoegazin'. 

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Slowdive announced earlier this year that they were reuniting to play some concerts (and possibly record some new material). They played their first reunion gig this weekend, a surprise performance at the 10th anniversary party for shoegaze label Sonic Cathedral. I've linked to some videos and a review here. The setlist consisted of material from throughout their discography, including some Pygmalion songs, and it all sounds pretty amazing.

 

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On Halloween, I got to fulfill a twenty-year-old wish and see Slowdive in concert. It did not disappoint. But after years of listening to their albums, I wasn't prepared for just how intense and aggressive their live sound would be. Their setlist covered their entire career, with a couple of songs ("Crazy For You," "Golden Hair") getting reworked in some interesting ways. Low opened for them, so I got to see two of my favorite bands of all time in one night. I'm not too familiar with their last two albums, which comprised most of Low's setlist, but it was a solid set, and like Slowdive, much more intense and aggressive than I was expecting.

 

My full review, plus some pictures, is here.

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Press Play

Them Are Us Too Remain  
 

March 24, 2015

Dais Records | daisrecords.com »

The shoegaze revival continues. The past few years have brought new albums from My Bloody Valentine and Swervedriver, reunion tours from Ride and Slowdive and acclaim for gauzy buzz bands like A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Cheetahs. And now there's Them Are Us Too, a duo of Californian 21-year-olds who favor dreamy synthesizers and huge melodies reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins, a shoegaze forebear. This is the world premiere of their debut album, "Remain."

Edited by Christian

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