Archives for posts with tag: shoegaze

Here’s a fabulous brand new slice of 21st century post-shoegaze guitar-pop from Christchurch musician Annemarie Duff flying as T. G. Shand.

Following on from two excellent singles earlier this year – “The Ease” back in February, and “Lemony” in July – “Seats” here is the most arresting and sonically complex of the three.

It’s a little bit off kilter, in a very good way, rocking a mesmerising electro-clash of Curve-style crunchy drum-heavy layered guitar rock, clattering post-punk bass, Cocteau Twins-style liquid guitars and a hyper-melodic chorus of layered heavenly voices.

What’s ahead in 2022 from T. G. Shand? Download these songs and follow the T. G. Shand Bandcamp and you will find out directly as soon as something new is released.

Blanco Tranco hail from Melbourne. Here’s a track from their first EP “I’ve Been Dying to Tell You”, recorded between Melbourne lockdowns:

Blanco Tranco are Matt McTiernan (guitar) and Tiff Brown (vocals/keys), Mark Howell (bass guitar), and Sophie Boyden (drums). There’s a kind of post-shoegaze pop sound to the EP, a mix of 80s/90s guitar sounds with the more chiming sonic repetition approach of the likes of DIIV this century.

Standout track “Let” evokes memories of The Sundays, in part due to those gently effect-washed guitar arpeggios and song dynamics, but also due to Brown’s compelling, distinctive vocals.

Continuing the ‘escape from Dystopia’ theme of the last few posts, here’s White Flowers with the perfect and glorious anthem “Night Drive”:

White Flowers are from Preston in the UK’s industrial north west. The duo’s atmospheric shadow-world post-punk, which also manages to be part ecstatic dream-pop, is situated – sonically-speaking – in a perfect place, triangulated somewhere between the sound and music of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and Xmal Deutschland.

That mix of ecstasy, atmosphere and gloom – “monochrome psychedelia” as it is succinctly described on White Flowers’ Bandcamp – is an intoxicating combination.

Our Day 27 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is “The Ease” by T G Shand:

T. G. Shand is Annemarie Duff (Miniatures) and this new 2021 single follows the accomplished self-recorded/ produced “Golden Hour” EP released in 2020.

“The Ease” is enchanting dream-pop, vocals floating on chorus and reverb guitars and programmed drums.

Inhabiting the general sonic territory of 1990s Cocteau Twins (“Heaven or Las Vegas” era onwards), the song continues the high standards set by the “Golden Hour” EP, satisfying any shoegaze-to-dream-pop cravings you may have.

Wellington 4 piece shoegaze/ psych rock band Earth To Zena return with a new single “Mirrors” ahead of their third EP following “Transmundane” (2018) and its semi-unplugged/ part-ambient companion EP “Transmutations” (2019):

“Mirror” doesn’t stray far from the ambitious blend of shoegaze-inspired dreamy guitar+synth pop along with heavier sonic space-rock blast and psychedelic rock overtones the band introduced on the “Transmundane” EP.

However the song adds even more hard crunch to the loudest parts of their quiet-loud-even-louder dynamics, flexing rhythmic and time-change muscle. The added complexity comes without loss of any of the emotional intensity of Earth To Zena’s epic transmissions from the deep space of the heart.

T G Shand

Our song for Day 3 of New Zealand Music Month 2020 comes from another Christchurch artist, T.G. Shand. It’s the title track of a just-released 4 song EP called “Golden Hour”.

T. G. Shand is Annemarie Duff ( Miniatures’ ) and the accomplished EP was self recorded/ produced.

“Golden Hour” is an enchanting dream-pop concoction, vocals floating on clouds of chorus and reverb guitars and programmed drums, in a way that inevitably will trigger memories for some of 1990s Cocteau Twins (“Heaven or Las Vegas” era onwards). It’s a high bar for a debut EP but “Golden Hour” (the song and the EP) is convincing and satisfies any shoegaze-to-dream-pop cravings you may have.

NZMM 2020

Burning House

“Peach” is tucked away at the end of a 2019 album called “Anthropocene” by Southampton band Burning House. It’s the first song of theirs I have heard and it wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque” .

Having started at the end of the 15 track double album it’s only right and proper to start at the beginning and see what’s on offer. Turns out there’s a lot of rather gloriously noisy and melodic grungy atmospheric shoegaze and nothing else sounds much like Teenage Fanclub at all.

Sometimes the songs pack the dense visceral sonic punch of My Bloody Valentine (“Mirror Song” and “Forever”), but there’s also a gentler, lighter swirling woozy dreamy element at play (“Langour”). Frequently here multiple sonic elements are incorporated into the same song to disorienting effect.

The band are Aaron (Vocals/Guitar), Ruby (Guitar/ Vocals), Dominic (Drums) and Patrick (Bass).  The sounds on “Anthropocene” may take some influences from the past but there’s a sense of adventure and originality here showing their influences won’t define them or limit them.

 

 

 

Russian Baths

You don’t normally associate ‘shoegaze’ music with abrasive guitars. Loads of fuzz and distortion sure, but usually with the edges smoothed and angles blurred by layers of reverb and delay. Russian Baths create a thrillingly brutal variation on shoegaze, their submerged dream-state melodic vocals bound together with layered rasps of metallic guitars that have more in common with Husker Du and Sonic Youth than Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. As you can hear on “Tracks” it works a treat:

Russian Baths are from Brooklyn, NY and are Jess Rees (guitar, vocals) and Luke Koz (guitar, vocals), with Evan Gill Smith (Bass, Synth), and Jeff Widner (Drums, Synth). “Tracks” is from an album called “Deepfake” out next month on Goodeye Records.

The contrasts between extremes here on “Tracks” are compelling; noise with whispers, harshness with softness, turmoil with tranquility, menace with comfort, dystopia with utopia, darkness with light…

There was one ‘shoegaze’ adjacent band in the 1990s which managed this kind of contrast – Catherine Wheel – but Russian Baths add in additional elements of Gothic rock and Post-Punk along with those hardcore noise-rock guitars to create a distinct kind of musical soundscape.

 

ToothpasteToothpaste are a London 4-piece mixing shoegaze and dream-pop together like alchemists on this 2019 single “Outside Panucci’s”:

Chief alchemist here in the magical transformation of melody, instruments and voices into something that glides through a heat-haze shimmer is bassist Daisy Edwards who engineered produced and mastered the recording.

Every part of the sound here – arrangement and production – contributes something to the feeling of vague ennui and nostalgic yearning (maybe?) the song is built on, and also captures perfectly the kind of weightlessness Slowdive perfected in their albums and EPs.

I’m a sucker for a good dream-pop/ shoegaze band and intrigued to hear more from Toothpaste. They have the makings of  GREAT dream-pop/shoegaze band on the strength of this song (and recording).

 

Seablite 2019Seablite are from San Francisco and have just released a melody-packed album called “Grass Stains and Novocaine” on Emotional Response Records. Here’s “Heart Mountain” to introduce you to the album:

Seablite describe themselves in their Bandcamp tags as fuzz-pop jangle-gaze. The combination of jangle-pop, shoegaze and fuzzy guitar pop sounds like a kind of obvious merging of related and sometimes overlapping styles, yet I’m struggling to think of another band who have pulled it all together with the aplomb shown by Seablite on this album, who get the stylistic mix and the variety in their songs right.

A distinctive feature is the bass playing which sits an octave above where you might usually expect the bassline to sit which gives the songs a strong clear pulse of rhythm and melody through the fuzz and jangle, tethering the weightless harmony vocals to earth.

Seablite are Lauren Matsui (vocals and guitar), Andy Pastalaniec (drums), Galine Tumasyan (bass and vocals), and Jen Mundy (guitar). The album will appeal to fans of Lush and Velocity Girl, among others, and, if you like Seablite, head over to the Emotional Response website to discover a treasure trove of other releases to explore.