nine


Nine of the twelve songs in this cloudcast are products of North America: two from Canada, seven from the USA. The three remaining songs originated in Russia, Japan, and the UK. There is also a fair amount of not-exactly-Shoegaze material in this mix, but, while it may not be your father’s Shoegaze, it’s all fuzzy and it’s all good.

The UK’s wool gets things started with the third of four tracks found on Suncoast Digest, which appears to be the artist’s debut EP. This is followed by a track from The Music of Sound by Whales (the ones in Chicago), the EP representing the first new music from this band since the 2013 release of Size and Scale. Track three is by Lavender, also from Illinois, who have followed up the release of the Demo 2014 EP with another EP, New Shade. Track four comes courtesy of San Diego’s Giant Surprise. The release of their first EP, Is Failure An Option?, arriving a little more than five months after the release of their Endless single in 2015.

A lovely slice of genuine Shoegaze goodness from Japan’s COLLAPSE and their Self Titled EP leads the way into the next set of four tracks. I just can’t get enough guitar-driven walls of sound wrapped around female vocals, so I really hope this band comes back with more like this in the very near future. Boston’s Magic Shoppe keeps things going with a superb psychgaze track taken from their Interstellar Car Crash EP. I liked this EP so much I bought their entire back catalogue (essentially three earlier EPs). From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Living Hour brings an interesting self-titled debut album that I frankly have no idea how to tag, but, as I wrote above, it is fuzzy. Another bit of offbeat fuzziness was delivered by New Speedway on the one-track single Behavior: Holds, which is now no longer visible to the public. I have to believe that it will return in the future, as it is simply too good a song to discard.

It didn’t happen by design, but it turns out that the third and final set of four tracks also begins with a track by a non-North American band. This time, Russia’s Bananafish have that distinction, with the title track from this Saint Petersburg band’s debut single starting the countdown to the end. The opening track from the Candy Depression EP by The World Needs Winners of Crossville, Tennessee comes next. This is followed by the first track from Jelly, the debut EP by Toledo, Ohio’s Good Personalities. Vancouver, British Columbia’s The Orange Kyte brings things to a conclusion with some more psychgaze, this one coming from the first of several one-track singles the artist intends to release over the coming months.

Enjoy
 

One of the problems with posting so late at night/early in the morning is that I always forget something. In this case, it was an acknowledgement of the help I received from The Primal Music Blog and Sounds Better With Reverb. The former pointing me toward The Orange Kyte and Magic Shoppe, the latter toward Living Hour. I’d say something about what great sites they are and suggest you check them out, but, if your search for Shoegaze has led you to this blog, you will already know about those two.
 

TRACKLIST

  1. “Exhibition” by wool from Suncoast Digest
  2. “Birthmark” by Whales from The Music of Sound
  3. “Failed Attempt” by Lavender from New Shade
  4. “Weightless” by Giant Surprise from Is Failure An Option?
  5. “Syrup” by COLLAPSE from Self Titled EP
  6. “Redhead” by Magic Shoppe from Interstellar Car Crash
  7. “Seagull” by Living Hour from Living Hour
  8. “We’ve Got No Plans” by New Speedway from Behavior: Holds
  9. “Loadstar” by Bananafish from Loadstar / Immersion
  10. “Discharge” by The World Needs Winners from Candy Depression
  11. “Tallulah” by Good Personalities from Jelly
  12. “Morning Pages” by The Orange Kyte from Morning Pages

 

BANDCAMP











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green 1


Alright, today’s musical journey begins with a three-track road trip starting south of the Rio Grande and ending north of the 49th Parallel. México’s Coco provides the opener, taken from their debut album, which is followed in turn by the A-side from the second single by Gold Muse of Boston, Massachusetts and the first track from the demo EP by Rogue of Edmonton, Alberta.

After a quick trip to Italy to listen to the opening track from the self-titled debut EP by Hidden Hinds, it’s back to the States for a track from the second EP by Riverside, California’s HABITAT and the A-side from the latest single (and preview for the soon-to-be-released full-length) by Cincinnati, Ohio’s Wussy (who do and do not ‘wuss out’ on this track, if you take my meaning).

Italy was fun, so I head back to Europe for some more ‘sonic sight-seeing’, beginning in the UK with a cut from the Presents For Sally half of the split release they share with 93MMFTS. Then it’s off to the continent to visit Berlin and take in a track from Life as Art 1927‘s third EP before heading to Spain to enjoy the sunshine and a track from the new Seven Tin Stars EP.

Returning to the States with the intention to wrap things up with tracks from two American bands, I find the lure of Ireland’s scenery (and pubs) to be irresistible. So, after slices from two debut EPs: the self-titled release by Chicagoans Lazy Legs and Ancestors by Angelinos Daydream Cathedral, it’s off to The Emerald Isle for a pint (or three) of the black stuff and a listen to one of the more ‘shoegazey’ tracks from The Altered Hours new album.

Enjoy
 

A nod of thanks to The Primal Music Blog for bringing The Altered Hours to my attention as well as for giving me reason to reconsider Sonic Cathedral‘s EP. Another nod of thanks goes out in the direction of Sounds Better With Reverb, who steered me toward Wussy and alerted me to the Presents For Sally/93MMFTS split release.
 

TRACKLIST

  1. “Montpellier” by Coco from Divisiones del Sol
  2. “Kiss The Sun” by Gold Muse from Kiss The Sun/​Your Own Floral Crown
  3. “Q4F” by Rogue from Streams
  4. “Nymphs” by Hidden Hind from Hidden Hind
  5. “Peace and Honor” by HABITAT from HEADWAVES
  6. “Dropping Houses” by Wussy from Dropping Houses
  7. “Not Young Not Old” by Presents For Sally from An Arms Reach Away/ Darkness Inside
  8. “Dancing in Acid Rain” by Life as Art 1927 from Sense of Time EP
  9. “Return to the white tide” by Seven Tin Stars from Return to the white tide
  10. “Lipstick Prick” by Lazy Legs from Lazy Legs EP
  11. “Eyelids” by Daydream Cathedral from Ancestors
  12. “Saviours” by The Altered Hours from In Heat Not Sorry

 

BANDCAMP












eight


Having decided to divide the year into thirteen, four week periods and post a cloudcast at the end of each, I began to worry about having enough material for the first posting, because virtually nothing useful was posted to Bandcamp in the first few weeks. Things picked up significantly during the third week, however, and I ended up with enough songs for two compilations. This is one of them.

The opening track is taken from Heaven is a Place, the long awaited second release from LSD and the Search for God. This is followed by a track from Soft Wounds, whose self-titled album is one that Shoegaze fans have been anticipating since the release of the band’s five track Demo in 2014. Track three comes courtesy of Indoor Voices, who have resurfaced with Auratic, their first new EP in just over three years since releasing the second of two in October 2012. Apparently, there is another returnee from a lengthy absence in Wray, whose first album I somehow managed to miss in 2013, but the fourth track is taken from their second album, Hypatia.

Newcomers FAZER are set to stun have made a strong impression with the four tracks on the aptly titled Debut EP, one of which appears here. maria false takes us to the halfway point with the title track from the single spades, released on French label beko.

The second half begins with the opening track from EP, which comes to us in a roundabout way, being the work of Swedish band we.the pigs, but having been released on Spanish label Discos de Kirlian out of Barcelona. However it got here, it does feature some very nice Shoegaze tunes. The eighth track also comes via Spain. Odio París is new to me, but I feel confident that, when the time comes, Cenizas y Flores is going to find its way to my ‘Top 20 Albums of 2016’ list.

Now, it might be because I have listened to Sonic Youth‘s Goo a couple times this month, but track nine, taken from DIIV‘s soon to be released Is the Is Are, makes me think of “Tunic”, one of my favorite Sonic Youth songs. So, naturally, I had to include it here. Matt Bartram, of Air Formation fame, has added another album to his impressive solo output with Moments Before, and, moments later, I appropriated one of his new songs for use as the tenth track.

Coming into the home stretch, cerf volant‘s self-titled EP (also on beko) has provided the penultimate track, while long-time favorites of mine, 93MillionMilesFromTheSun takes us across the finish line with a track lifted from a split release, An Arms Reach Away/ Darkness Inside, shared with Presents For Sally and released on new Indie label Wrong Way Records.

Enjoy
 

TRACKLIST

  1. “Heaven” by LSD and the Search for God from Heaven is a Place
  2. “See the Sun” by Soft Wounds from Soft Wounds
  3. “What Can I” by Indoor Voices from Auratic
  4. “Pined” by Wray from Hypatia
  5. “Bad Mood” by FAZER from Debut EP
  6. “spades” by maria false from spades
  7. “Papercut” by we.the pigs from EP
  8. “En junio” by Odio París from Cenizas y Flores
  9. “Blue Boredom (Sky’s Song)” by DIIV from Is the Is Are
  10. “Break It” by Matt Bartram from Moments Before
  11. “dark end of the sea” by cerf volant from cerf volant
  12. “Edge Of Darkness” by 93MillionMilesFromTheSun from An Arms Reach Away/ Darkness Inside

 

BANDCAMP










2015 Top 20s (according to Hoky)



 

About these compilations…

My buddy Miloš sandbagged me this year, making out like he was tired of putting cloudcasts together and then dropping these two beauties on me.

The way Hocky builds these compilations is to start with a song from the twentieth ranked release and then climb the list one release at a time until he reaches the top. Thus, the twentieth song comes from his number one ranked release.

TRACK LIST for EPs & SINGLES

01 “Heart Attack” by Hideous Towns
02 “Slower Now” by Star Horse
03 “Spring” by Lowtide
04 “We Try But We Don’t Fit In” by Day Wave
05 “Always” by Tender Age
06 “Construction” by Contrast
07 “In the Dark” by Balms
08 “Less” by The Morelings
09 “Running Late” by Web of Sunsets
10 “Yucatan” by Forevr
11 “Fluff” by Cattle
12 “CD Girl” by La Casa al Mare
13 “Foma” by Drag
14 “Sunne” by Cheatahs
15 “In the End” by Flyying Colours
16 “Pieces of Me” by Under Electric Light
17 “Don’t Fade Away” by Ancient Tapes
18 “Padded Cell” by Lapse
19 “Thin Air” by Wildhoney
20 “Last Resolve” by Air Formation
 

TRACK LIST for ALBUMS

01 “Waiting for the Summer” by Winter
02 “Waves” by Shinies
04 “My Friend the Scientist” by Dråpe
04 “Twins” by Astrobrite
05 “Nothing Lasts” by Echo Lake
06 “Sleep Tight” by Presents for Sally
07 “Ravestar Supreme” by Pinkshinyultrablast
08 “Hadavhar” by Vaadat Charigim
09 “Jonna” by Westkust
10 “Sleep TV” by Fever Dream
11 “Safety Matches” by Deafcult
12 “Waves” by Quell
13 “Half a Lie” by Intenna
14 “Everyday is the Same” by Aerial Love Feed
15 “Fall In” by Wildhoney
16 “Body is Dead” by Funeral Advantage
17 “Luminous Veil” by Lightning Bug
18 “Beyond Love” by Beach House
19 “Broken” by The Amazing
20 “The Only Sound” by Butterfly Child

seven


 

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

PSYCHGAZE INTERNATIONAL


 

About this compilation…

The idea was simple, but the execution turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had expected it to be. In the end, having too few countries represented when using only releases from 2015—I had eight but wanted ten, and way too many if I included releases from 2014, I compromised by taking those eight tracks from 2015 and adding another eight tracks by different bands from the same countries. Most of the additional tracks were released in 2014, but there is also one each from 2013 and 2015.

As a result, you will find two tracks of psych-tinged Shoegaze each from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the USA, making a total of sixteen tracks (plus a bonus track).

In a way, “meadowsweet” by Chatham Rise (mixed by Mark Gardener) is a perfect choice to kick off this compilation, having been released in both 2014 and 2015. This single track was posted to Bandcamp last September, but has subsequently been remastered by Andrew Rose—the new version replacing the old in February. Highlands is the other half of the USA’s contingent. “Onto You” is a track from their well-received Dark Matter Traveler, which was released last year.

Canada is represented by Holy Mount and Constellation Nightclub, who contributed “Sunset” from last year’s VOL and “Dream Love” from this year’s Hero EP respectively. From Down Under we have the title track from the 2014 Copper Girl single by The Grand Rapids as well as “Let It Go”, the first track from this year’s Volume Two, the second album released by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Aussie cousins: The Grease Arrestor.

Also south of the Equator, Brazil contributes “Away to Mars” by The Sorry Shop from Mnemonic Syncretism, an album I didn’t discover until this year, but which would have been on my ‘top ten albums of 2014’ list, and “Nothing Else” from Always Nothing, Something Nowhere by The Silent Party.

Both of Denmark’s representatives are from Aarhus, which incidentally is where I went to live when I moved to Denmark in ’76. Tales of Murder and Dust brings us “Tremblin’” from the 2013 release Skeleton Flowers, while Spökraket (Swedish for ghost rocket, a type of UFO frequently sighted in Scandinavia in 1946) offers up “Tandava” from 2015’s In A Witch Forest.

From Russia with love, we receive gifts from Lava Lite and Cosmic Letdown. The former presents us with “Don’t You Know” from their self-titled EP—a favorite of mine last year, which is also being re-released this year by Far From Moscow of Los Angeles, whose mission, it seems, is to spread the word about recordings from Russia. I have no idea how to pronounce the latter’s “Боль” much less what it means. I could have used “Мэри”, which I recognized as “Mary” from last year’s EP of the same name, but I liked “Боль” better.

In my opinion, “Raed”, a single track posted to Bandcamp last year, is the most overtly psychedelic track Bleak Boys have released so far. Also representing Mexico is OCEΔNSS, who takes us to the “Outer Limits”, a track from its Atlantic EP.

The first quarter of 2015 has nearly passed, and one of my favorite releases (and definitely my favorite album) of these past three months is New Candys As Medicine by those Italian masters of Psychedelia: New Candys. Collin of Chatham Rise and the Picture In My Ear label was kind enough to give me an advance copy of “Dark Love” to use in this compilation, but it took me so long to put it together that the album was released first and I ended up choosing to use the aptly titled “Endless Deadline” instead.

Originally, I intended to use “Green Sight”, a single track posted to Bandcamp by My Invisible Friend as the bonus track, but I couldn’t make the track from a third Italian band fit in this compilation, so it looked like I was going to do without a bonus track. That is until another single track by a third Aussie band, The Dunes, showed up just in time to fill that void with “When You Wake Up”.

Having listened to earlier EPs from The Dunes, I have to agree with the assessment by musicsa that the band’s genre is best described as Dream Pop. With this single track, however, they seem to be exploring a much fuzzier sound. Hopefully, they will like the results as much as I did.
 

TRACK LIST & SOURCES

01. “Meadowsweet” by Chatham Rise facebook

02. “Sunset” by Holy Mount facebook

03. “Copper Girl” by The Grand Rapids facebook

04. “Away to Mars” by The Sorry Shop facebook SoundCloud

05. “Tremblin’” by Tales of Murder and Dust facebook SoundCloud

06. “Can’t You See” by Lava Lite facebook SoundCloud vimeo

07. “Raed” by Bleak Boys facebook SoundCloud

08. “Endless Deadline” by New Candys facebook website YouTube

09. “Onto You” by Highlands facebook SoundCloud Instagram

10. “Dream Love” by Constellation Nightclub facebook

11. “Let It Go” by The Grease Arrestor facebook SoundCloud

12. “Nothing Else” by The Silent Party facebook

13. “Tandava” by Spökraket facebook

14. “Боль” by Cosmic Letdown facebook

15. “Outer Limits” by OCEΔNSS facebook

16. “Green Sight” by My Invisible Friend facebook

Bonus Track “When You Wake Up” by The Dunes facebook webpage

six


 

About this compilation…

This is a compilation of halves. Half of the tracks originated in the USA; two more are courtesy of Australia, while France, Italy, and Sweden contributed one each. Looked at from another perspective, half of the tracks were released in March, while the other half were all released earlier in the year. Apart from those tracks earmarked for themed compilations already in the works, I have no tracks from January and February left over. I’m all caught up!

For reasons that will become obvious to the listener, I wanted to use “Green” by Melbourne, Australia’s Del Boca Vista to close, and, having chosen “Sequin Days” by Nashville, Tennessee’s HONEYTOMB to open, I decided to continue to alternate tracks from the USA with those from other countries. So, all the odd-numbered tracks are from the States. Hey, I had to do something to keep myself entertained.

Of the eight remaining tracks, three are from bands whose music I have featured in earlier compilations—either here or at NWshoegazing. Before Bandcamp arrived on the scene, I used to search MySpace for Shoegaze bands, and, if I liked the music, buy their CDs. This is how I ended up with the self-titled debut EP of San Francisco, California’s Echodrone in 2007. I’m very happy to see the band is still in the game and making good music eight years later.

A friend brought Gotheburg, Sweden’s WESTKUST to my attention late in 2012, and I used the b-side from their Summer 3D single on a compilation in 2013. Now the band returns with Last Forever, an album due out in late April and featuring “Sway” as the first track. Like Del Boca Vista, Contrast are also from Melbourne, and they have already contributed 2013’s “Dull” and last year’s “Drum Machine” to previous compilations of mine. To say that I like these guys would be an understatement.

The three remaining bands from the USA are, making our way from the West Coast east to New England: Draag of Los Angeles, California, Calico Sunshine* of Texas, and Slowshine of Albany, New York. Boca River of Rennes, France and Human Colonies of Tuscany, Italy round out the overseas contributors. Hmmm, first Bialogard and La Casa al Mare, then Schonwald, My Invisible Friend, Kimono Lights, and now Human Colonies… these days, it seems my compilations often include tracks from Italian bands. Italy has not generally been considered a hotbed of Shoegaze activity, but that does seem to be changing rapidly.

*Less than 24 hours after I posted this, Calico Sunshine changed its name to The Drones
 

TRACK LIST & SOURCES

01. “Sequin Days” by HONEYTOMB facebook website

02. “Swirl” by WESTKUST facebook

03. “Janet” by Draag facebook

04. “Doomsday Killer” by Boca River facebook Instagram

05. “Glacial Place” by Echodrone facebook website

06. “Construction” by Contrast facebook

07. “Psyche Scare” by Calico Sunshine Instagram

08. “Falling Deeper” by Human Colonies facebook SoundCloud

09. “Far Out” by Slowshine facebook SoundCloud

10. “Green” by Del Boca Vista facebook