About this compilation…
Once again, for your pleasure, ten tasty slices of Shoegaze goodness—all released this year, plus a bonus track. I know! You can’t help wondering why I’m being so good to you.
In any case, as far as countries of origin goes, this compilation is slightly better balanced than the last, with a track each from France, Germany, Ireland, Ukraine, three from the UK, and only four from the USA. Nothing from the Pacific Northwest, however.
I am especially excited about two of the tracks, as they represent new albums to be released by two of my favorite bands: Venera 4 and 93MillionMilesFromTheSun. In the case of the latter, I’ve been a huge fan of this Doncaster, England outfit ever since I first received a copy of their self-titled promo on CD-R back in 2008. Before I reset my Last.fm listening stats, 93MMFTS was third behind only Curve and The Jesus and Mary Chain, which easily makes them my favorite shoegazers of the modern era. I marvel at the way they continue to flout my maxim which states that ‘two albums and a handful of EPs is all the Shoegazing any band has in them’; long may it continue.
Venera 4, on the other hand, first came to my attention in 2013 with the release of Deaf Hearts EP. I liked it so much, I quickly rounded up the entire back catalogue of this Parisian quartet. It turns out that “Black Paw”, a track I used in last year’s Pardon My French compilation, was a preview of the band’s first full-length release, Eidôlon, due out 2 March.
Like 93MMFTS and Venera 4, Baltimore, Maryland’s Wildhoney and London, England’s Leave the Planet are returning contributors to compilations posted here or on NWshoegazing. The excellent “Seventeen”, which I downloaded as a single track on Bandcamp before it became the first track of the Seventeen Forever EP, makes another appearance on Wildhoney’s debut album, Sleep Through It, which was released in January on the Deranged Records label of British Columbia. “Seventeen” may be the best track on the album, but it is by no means the only one worth listening to, as I believe “Molly” will prove to anyone who gives it a listen.
Leave the Planet may only have two, two-track singles out so far, but in both cases, I have found the first track on each single irresistible. I used “Coasts” from their first single on two and, now, “Winter Sleep” from their second on four. Hmmm, I wonder if they’ll have another single out by the time I’m ready to post six.
The newcomers include: Sun Mahshene of Dublin, Ireland, who, while you won’t necessarily be able to tell from this track, are purveyors of some promising psychgaze, Lightning Bug of New York City, whose Dream Pop-filled Floaters album does contain a song or two with extra fuzziness, solo artist Infinity-Mi from Whitstable, England, who brings a sometimes manic gothgaze to his Meltdown album, Mandarinaduck from Ukraine, whose enjoyable second EP I tried to buy, but PayPal and Ukraine do not play nicely together (this is not the first time I have seen this), so GARDENSOULS is a free download for now, Angel Falls of Saint Paul, Minnesota, whose EP, Part 1, delivers some delightful dreamgaze (the vocals on “Angel Falls” remind me of something from the ’80s I can’t quite put my finger on, Talk Talk perhaps), and, finally, Seasurfer of Hamburg, Germany, who, in collaboration with Robin Guthrie, provide the bonus track, an alternate master of “We Run” from 2014’s outstanding Dive In, which has been fully mastered by the ex-Cocteau Twin legend.
TRACK LIST & SOURCES
01. “Beautiful Failure” by Witness 9
02. “On Blood” by Sun Mahshene ❀ facebook
03. “Lumious Veil” by Lightning Bug ❀ SoundCloud ❀ tumblr
04. “Swansong” by Infinity-Mi
05. “Winter Sleep” by Leave The Planet ❀ facebook ❀ Instagram
06. “Other Suns” by Mandarinaduck ❀ facebook ❀ tumblr
07. “Molly” by Wildhoney ❀ facebook ❀ tumblr
08. “Fall Into Nothing” by 93MillionMilesFromTheSun ❀ facebook
09. “Colored Fields” by Venera 4 ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud ❀ tumblr
10. “Solstice” by Angel Falls ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
Bonus Track “We Run (Guthrie Master)” by Seasurfer ❀ facebook ❀ website ❀ SMR