Notoriously, shoegaze artists love messing with guitar effects. They’re mad for products for guitars. It is a genre that is a fuzzy maelstrom of chaotic beauty. It’s a sound that is at once soothing and unnerving.
At roughly thirty years of age, the genre continues to hypnotise and mesmerise in equal measure. As usual, there have been some quite very impressive shoegaze releases thus far this year. Here are just five that we thought we worthy of mention. Leave a comment to let us know what we missed out on!
Swervedriver – Future Ruins
Future Ruins, the sixth album from UK shoegaze legends Swervedriver, proves that their 2015 comeback album I Wasn’t Born To Lose You was no fluke. This one marries rock guitar thunders with eerie musical passages and the Adam Franklin’s rather seductive vocals. A seamless amalgamation of taut, muscular rock music with shimmering and ethereal dreamland inspired shoegaze. We reckon they’re hot for custom pedalboards for guitar and bass. Start with ‘Spiked Flower’. It’s magic.
The Novembers – Angels
Not only one of our favourite shoegaze albums of 2019, Angels by The Novembers one is also on our list of top Japanese albums of 2019 (so far). This is a bit of a game-changer for The Novembers. It’s as if post-punk darlings Daughters took a turn into left field and crafted a shoegaze album. This is abrasive and confrontational but mixed into that bitches’ brew are waves of gorgeous all consuming fuzzy melodies. This one is spellbinding. ‘Bad Dream’, streaming below, gives a good indication of the direction of the record.
Blankenberge – More
A sublime mixture of shoegaze and post-rock, More does exactly what it says on the tin. Building on the promise of Radiogaze, the debut album from this Russian outfit named after a Belgium town in West Flanders, the album is a nine-track exploration of the epic and soaring. An effortless and cathartic effort, this is modern shoegaze at it’s fuzzy and dream-like apex. Also, that sax on ‘Until The Sun Shines’ is simply out of this world. ‘Look Around’ is an excellent starting point.
Elizabeth Colour Wheel – Nocebo
This Boston, USA based effort self describe themselves as shoepunk. Their debut album Nocebo was released earlier this year via extreme label The Flenser. This may give one the hint that this is not your dad’s shoegaze. Indeed it runs the gamut from sludgy heft to noise rock freakouts to pummeling punk. This is as fresh as it gets, as the band possess a sound that seems at once familiar and new. That is, for our money, the gauge of a great band. Let’s see what they can manage of album number two. We’re planning to buy a new sound system in anticipation. We’re hot for ’23’ and recommend that as a starting point.
Rubur – Evening Sitdown Vision
Chinese shoegaze outfit RUBUR return three years after their debut EP/LP True Bypass. It has been worth the wait. This one is even mistier and muzzier that that effort. Having said that the album does make ample room for crunching blasts and razor sharp distortion. Start with ‘Floating’ and continue from there.