Even though Tom Lugo has managed to round up contributions from more than eighty artists for his Rock Back for Japan compilation series*, it turns out that there are still a few Shoegaze bands he didn’t get, so I did (some of them, anyway). Special thanks to Brian Foote of kranky for giving me the choice of using one of two great songs from Belong – both of which are going on my iPod.
Link expired 12am PDT, Sunday, 01 May 2011
01. “Don’t Touch” by [aftersun] from Pain Sounds (©2011 [aftersun])
The solo project of Stephan Cherkashin (Telltale and Audn), [aftersun] is based in Brooklyn, New York and combines the swirling layers of sound from Shoegaze with Trip-Hop beats and Darkwave moods. Pain Sounds, this artist’s debut EP, was released this Spring as a free download on Bandcamp – as was the Goodbye single.
02. “Washer” by Mood Rings from Sweater Weather Forever (©2011 Double Phantom Digital)
Sweater Weather Forever is the debut EP from this Atlanta, Georgia based band which formed in 2009. The EP was released on Pink House Tapes and online at Double Phantom Digital and Bandcamp.
03. “Girl Upstairs” by Moonbeams from Radio San Francisco (©2011 Hop Skip Jump Records)
Based in San Francisco, Moonbeams is a Shoegaze and Psychedelic Pop ensemble headed by Ryan Lescure. He is supported on his recordings by several talented friends, and the live band consists of Ryan Haynes (guitar), Kyle Baudour (bass), and Alvin Fenner (drums). The CD of Radio San Francisco can be purchased from Hop Skip Jump, and digital downloads are available on Bandcamp. The upcoming LP, The Daisy Chain, is slated for release in the summer of 2011.
bandcamp | myspace | facebook | website
04. “No More Canyons” by Quiet Lights from No More Canyons (©2011 Eastern Seaboard / Old Flame Records)
Quiet Lights is Chris Curtis, Robin Fowler, Nikhil Kamineni, Yseult Tyler, and Marcus Smith, and they create aural landscapes of both light and dark, blurry sonic envelopes tinged with “looking through a glass-bottle” hazes. Currently, the band has two singles available from Bandcamp.
bandcamp | myspace | facebook | website
05. “Starfall” by Poor, Useless Me from EP001 (©2011 Poor, Useless Me)
Poor, Useless Me is a side-project Vadim Vasilyev (Sun Devoured Earth) from Aizkraukle, Latvia started in 2011. The music is heavily influenced by Astrobrite, My Bloody Valentine and Skywave. This EP was released on 3 April 2011 and has already been joined by two subsequent releases – all available for download on Bandcamp.
06. “Single Man” by Ghost Animal from Single Man/In Your Room (©2011 Ghost Animal)
Ghost Animal is a Pop duo from California currently living and studying in Portland, Oregon. They have been playing together since April 2010. Single Man/In Your Room and Through Your Eyes are both available as free downloads from Bandcamp.
bandcamp | myspace | tumblr | blogspot
07. “Underneath Tonight” by Lowtide from Underneath Tonight/Memory No. 7 (©2011 Lowtide)
Australia’s Lowtide has its origins in Three Month Sunset, a solo project Gabriel Lewis began in 2005. Once consisting of the ambient, soaring textures of a single guitar, the sound has been widened by the addition of male and female vocals, drums, and dual bass courtesy of Lucy Buckeridge, Anton Jakovljevic (The Morning After Girls), and Giles Simon (The Sun Blindness). In 2010, the band released You Are My Good Light, their debut EP, to a sold out crowd at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar. The new single can be downloaded from Bandcamp.
bandcamp | myspace
08. “Never Came Close” by Belong from Common Era (©2011 Kranky)
The music of Belong is the result of a collaboration between New Orleans, Louisiana natives Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones. The band’s mostly instrumental, 2004 debut, October Language, was composed, recorded, and produced in Dietrich’s bedroom studio as a tribute to the city and as an illustration of the beauty that can still be found in things worn and decayed. This new album utilizes instruments and technology to create a sound very similar to the original Shoegaze of the ’90s – including vocals.
kranky | myspace
09. “Sunspots” by Sunshower Orphans from Avenue Abyss (©2011 Mike G)
Sunshower Orphans is Mike G., Rob A., Travis F., and Brian A. – a bunch of lowlifes from Queens, New York who grew up just blocks away from places where The Ramones once lived. They have been playing basements, parks, and stages in and around New York City in various incarnations since 2007. The city has changed since The Ramones ruled, and the Orphans’ music reflects that, as they often make New York – in all of her manifestations – the focus of their lyrics. “Sunspots” is from their first album, Avenue Abyss, which you can download for free on Bandcamp. Their debut EP, From the Fire Escapes, is available on vinyl from State Capital Records – a local indie label, and digitally from the iTunes Store.
bandcamp | myspace | State Capital
10. “I Am Here” by Red Moon from I Am Here (©2011 Red Moon)
Red Moon is a duo comprised of sisters Eva and Katarina Thulin, who live and make music in Göteborg, Sweden. The music, which they have been writing, producing, and recording together for more than ten years, combines simple and direct melodies with complex soundscapes. Their sound reminds me very much of Azure Ray at its best and, while not strictly Shoegaze, I believe this song is close (and good) enough for me to be forgiven for including it. Red Moon has previously released a two-song single in 2003 and a four-song EP in 2006; both of which can be downloaded from the band’s website.
Record Union | soundcloud | website
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