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

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red one redone


 

Preface

I felt that, in my haste to get started, I rushed my first post a little, then found the writeup in particular to be unsatisfactory, and thought even the compilation could be improved with a minor reshuffling of the track list. So, that is what I did before replacing the original post with this one.

Please allow me to introduce myself…

If you were directed here from NWshoegazing, then you already have some familiarity with the compilations I upload to Mixcloud, but things will work a little differently on this site.

Cloudcasts (compilations hosted on Mixcloud) with names like one, two, three, etc. will feature songs from the current year (or, on occasion, older songs that have only recently come to my attention). Mixed in with these, I will also be putting together themed compilations similar to Shoegaze y Dream Pop Latinoamericano, which featured songs from South and Central American artists. I’ve already started gathering songs for four of these comps, but you’ll have to wait to see what the themes are.

About this compilation…

Every once in a while, dredging through the quagmire of (mostly) incorrectly tagged releases on Bandcamp yields something so good that, if I wasn’t already blogging, I’d be temped to start doing so, just to get the word out. DIV I DED’s Born to Sleep is just such a release. Like fellow countrymen (and women) Manon Muert, this band from the Czech Republic is certain to be represented in my list of the top 10 releases of 2014.

Two other newcomers with releases that grabbed my attention were London’s Nano Kino and Rome’s La Casa al Mare. If one looks closely enough at Nano Kino’s Bandcamp page, they’ll see that the release date for the self-titled, three-song single is 5 January 2015. When I first saw this page, there was a note on it indicating that these three songs were part of a larger release due out early next year. Something to look forward to in early 2015, perhaps. Take out the dead Xmas tree, then come back in to download the new Nano Kino.

La Casa al Mare features Paolo Miceli (My Violent Ego and Sea Dweller), Marco Poloni (La Calle Mojada), and Alessio Pindinelli, whose lovely voice graces the song I’ve chosen for this compilation. Marco does the honors on the B-side, “CD Girl”, which is also very good.

Białogard are also from Italy, but further north in Milan. I used a song of theirs on Fuzz Lite, one of two compilations I put together featuring my favorite songs taken from singles and EPs released in 2013. Partings is the band’s third release. It follows the 2010 self-titled debut, and 2013’s Studies on Distance.

Not too far to the west and slightly north of Milan lies Martigny, Switzerland. From this location, the three members of Versus People hope to use their blend of Shoegaze, Dream Pop, and Post Rock sounds to help us “rediscover the spirit of the ‘90s.” It seems they’re off to a good start with To Your Eyes.

The remaining artists are all from the USA, a contingent headed by veterans A Shoreline Dream, who have come a long way from the days when I bought their self-titled debut EP from toneVendor in 2006. I’m happy to report, however, that they are still going strong. On a side note, it is a lot easier (and less expensive) to buy and download music from Bandcamp, but I do miss the extras, personal notes, and pieces of candy that were included in packages from toneVendor.

Of the four remaining American bands, I have known about SHEER the longest, having downloaded “Yesterday’s Weather” in July. “Skin” followed shortly afterward and “Orion” was released this month. The band is from Simi Valley, California, and that is almost all I know about them. I couldn’t even find a Facebook page.

I came across self-titled releases from Oakland’s Linoleum Dream and South Bend’s Jimmy Infinity only hours before I started putting this compilation together, but I liked them both right away. I don’t really know what else I can say about Linoleum Dream other than to describe it is a small but solid collection of Shoegaze songs, but that’s all it takes to make me happy these days. “Sleepy Eyes” is the more straight-up Shoegazing of the two songs I liked best from Jimmy Infinity, but “Charity Carwash” is good as well.

It wasn’t done intentionally, but the three compilations that were posted here in the test phase all featured bands from Portland, Oregon. With the inclusion of Visiting Diplomats, this compilation keeps that streak intact. Unfortunately, I have been priced out of my downtown Portland flat and forced to live in a suburb so dead I could cry. No longer am I able to walk (if need be) west across the river to venues such as Crystal Ballroom, just north to Wonder Ballroom, or south to my favorite, Doug Fir Lounge. Otherwise, I would likely have seen Visiting Diplomats live and would know a little more about the band. What I do know is that I love the chiming guitar and the way the intensity and volume picks up in the final third of “The Hardest Easy Thing” before restoring a quieter melancholy to a finish that made it a natural to bring this compilation to a close.
 

TRACK LIST & SOURCES

01. “The Heart Never Recovered” by A Shoreline Dream facebook website

02. “L Song” by Nano Kino facebook

03. “Sleepy Eyes” by Jimmy Infinity facebook

04. “Indirect” by Linoleum Dream facebook

5. “Skin” by SHEER

06. “Makemyheart” by Białogard facebook

07. “M” by La Casa al Mare facebook

08. “When You” by Versus People facebook SoundCloud

09. “Other City” by DIV I DED facebook YouTube SoundCloud

10. “The Hardest Easy Thing” by Visiting Diplomats facebook