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Alternative Shoegaze/Dreampop General

XieXie

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🎸🎛️ Here we can discuss and share shoegaze and dreampop music. <3🎛️🎸
Shoegaze is a genre emerging in the UK from pop and alt-rock in the 80s which is generally characterized by the use of guitars layered in pedals and effects, focusing heavily on timbre and texture to create a sweeping dream-like atmosphere. The vocals are blended into the overall composition and play a melodic role in further crafting atmosphere rather than being at the forefront, the lyrics often being indistinguishable and sometimes even having nonsensical lyrics or no real words at all.

"Shoegaze" actually came from the scene embracing the term which was used by critics. This was due to the formative bands being unconcerned with showmanship while on stage, and always seeming to be entranced and focusing their gaze downward to the numerous guitar pedals they incorporated into their music. While the genre had always been fairly underground even at its peak in the late 80s and early 90s with bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Lush, its popularity has faded since its prime, but has maintained some following and seen a minor modern resurgence since its initial collapse in the mid 90s, especially in other countries like Japan.

"Dreampop" is often used interchangeably with shoegaze, while others may think of it as a similar but distinct genre itself. I personally think that they are basically interchangeable terms, or at least so similar that they can be grouped together, but I also feel that you can use each term to describe slightly different styles of music in the scene. If I was going to draw distinctions between them both, I would say that "shoegaze" can be used to describe music in the scene leaning more into the instrumental, droning, and atmospheric side of things, perhaps being closer to post-rock in a way, while "dreampop" probably leans more into the pop side of things, closer to alt-rock in a way. But that's just my observation.

If you're unfamiliar with the genre then there are a few landmark artists of the scene that you could listen to to get a feel for the music. A couple of the formative bands I'll provide examples for here being My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive as these two were very influential on the genre in their time.

Slowdive had disbanded since the high of the shoegaze/dreampop scene in the early 90s and their last album in 1995, but they made a return 22 years later in 2017. Their eponymous album of that year has become my new (close) favorite of theirs, possibly alongside their even more recent 2023 album, which is surprising considering how great their classic discography already was. This is a freshly crafted album from the old legends; a great example of the overall genre I'd say.


My Bloody Valentine - "Loveless" has to be the most popular and adored shoegaze album of all time, and seems to be commonly shared as an intro to the genre. It's definitely a masterpiece to be appreciated if you're inclined to enjoy this type of music, as it's regarded by some as basically the pinnacle of the entire genre.
 

XieXie

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I found a nice guide graph someone made about shoegaze artists.

Also here's a beautiful song from a Thai band Desktop Error.

Another track I like off that album is "ปัจจุปันนา" (Pud Ju Pun Na).
 

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XieXie

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I love this one so much, especially the drums in the last half of the song. <3


Here are some more nice ones.



And two great shoegaze tracks titled "Primal." ┐(‘~` )┌ A beautiful haunting Slowdive one, and a really heavy one by a band called "CQ" which consisted of a few former members of Tokyo Shoegazer after their disbanding and before their reunion.

 
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