About this compilation…
Lots of very good tunes from twelve bands that were mostly new to me. Good geographical spread as well, with contributions from Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the USA (nothing from the Pacific Northwest, though).
I was already familiar with: La Casa al Mare, whose “M” was featured on one—the first compilation posted to this site. I love their music, and they’re pretty nice people as well. They have just released an EP, This Astro, available on CD (seven tracks) or as a digital download (six tracks). The title track from This Astro appears only the CD, but both versions include four tracks from two singles released last year as well as two new tracks “At All” and “I Don’t Want To”. I chose to use the latter mostly for its MBV vibe. Dom The Sleaze is another Italian band, and I’ve used the A-side from their debut single The Shield / Puddle.
The number of Aussie Shoegaze bands I come across just keeps increasing on a weekly basis it seems. It wasn’t intentionally set up this way, but two bands from Sydney are responsible for the opening and closing tracks of this compilation. Many thanks to Jordan at Lacklustre Records in Canberra for making the third track from the soon-to-be-released, self-titled cassette by Lapse available to me several days before it goes on sale. JuliaWhy? ends up closing with a track that was technically released as a single last year, but it is also included on this years Wheel.
There are three bands from the USA, two of which are Marriages and Honeymoon. Maybe I should have featured a bride on the cover. Strictly speaking Marriages don’t claim to be a Shoegaze band, and, on the recently released Salome, this becomes even more apparent than it was on Kitsune in 2012. Still, they’re close enough to be included here. On the other hand, with the four tracks on their debut EP, I Wanna See Everything, Honeymoon clearly demonstrate that they do ‘gaze.
The other US band is Blacksalt, which appears to be a one-man operation. The name and the cover artwork had me expecting ‘black metal’ or ‘gothgaze’, but it’s mostly drone with male vocals singing a bit about insects and spiders (in a good way). Neighbors to the North, Basic Nature is Claire and Lizzie, two women from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and their debut EP Circles and Lines, from which “Gone” is taken, is due to be released on 9 May.
As I wrote above, most of these bands were completely new to me, so there’s not much I can tell you about Ireland’s Borders of Sleep or Spain’s Reflector. Borders of Sleep have a two track single called Keep Yr. Regrets, and Reflector seems to be a solo project, active since 2002 and with quite a few releases.
China’s The White Tulips and Indonesia’s The House of Faith and Mirrors represents two firsts for this site. Beside the Summertime single, from which “Over the Rainbow” was taken, The White Tulips also have an EP from last year, Wrapped In The Waves, available as a free download.“Ruins & Reckoning” is the title track from a very promising debut by The House of Faith and Mirrors.
TRACK LIST & SOURCES
01. “Padded Cell” by Lapse ❀ facebook
02. “Regrets” by Borders of Sleep ❀ facebook
03. “Gone” by Basic Nature ❀ facebook
04. “Welcome, Spider” by Blacksalt ❀ facebook
05. “The Shield” by Dom The Sleaze ❀ facebook
06. “Contender” by Marriages ❀ facebook ❀ website
07. “Over the Rainbow” by The White Tulips ❀ facebook
08. “Hegemonía Unidimensional” by Reflector ❀ website
09. “Halo” by Honeymoon ❀ facebook
10. “Ruins & Reckoning” by The House of Faith and Mirrors ❀ facebook
11. “I Don’t Want To” by La Casa al Mare ❀ facebook
12. “Just One Night” by JuliaWhy? ❀ facebook