Songs In The Key Of… Shoegaze

11 April, 2018 in Features, Spring 2018

Discover: Shoegaze

Discover: Shoegaze feature in Songwriting Magazine Spring 2018 available now at pocketmags.com

We’re delighted to bring you a collection of songs from one of the most influential genres in guitar-pop’s alternative canon

In the spring edition of our app we walked you through a journey, one where you discovered shoegaze with Songwriting. While The Scene That Celebrates Itself has offered so much to music (the love of pedals, texture, and ethereal vocals) at the end of the day, it’s all about the songs – that’s precisely what we’re bringing you now.

Listen to the whole 14-track playlist on the Songwriting Spotify Profile. You can find the Discover Shoegaze With Songwriting by purchasing the Spring 2018 edition of our digital magazine. Enjoy!


ONLY SHALLOW – MY BLOODY VALENTINE
The opening track from the shoegaze album, Only Shallow is just over four minutes of blissful, womb-like fuzz, with floaty vocals hanging over the top. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

HERE COMES EVERYBODY – AUTOLUX
Our first contribution from over-the-pond to a scene initially renowned for its English influence, Los Angeles’ Autolux offer a divine Elliott Smith meets MBV combo with this track.

SLUG NIGHT – NO JOY
It’s thick and doomy, moody and gloomy, but doesn’t miss a trick; Canadian pair No Joy operate at the heavier end of shoegaze and you’ll be all the happier that they do after this three minute wonder has passed.

DECAY – RIDE
Such production… Ride are one of the scene’s true gunslinger’s, stepping into the fray armed with machine gun drums, stabbing melodies, and riffs that wash over like a terrible thunder. Decay demands repeat listen after repeat listen.

ALISON – SLOWDIVE
Second is nowhere in sport. Thankfully, music isn’t sport and this wonderful track from Souvlaki, the album just below MBV’s Loveless in shoegaze’s canon, proves that there’s an awful lot of pride in being almost the best.

KICK THE TRAGEDY – DROP NINETEENS
A song that gives meaning to the dreamy descriptions that have followed the genre since its 80s beginnings. Hit play, drift off, and feel as though the world has become a lighter place.

HORROR HEAD – CURVE
This London duo had enough electronic tinges to set themselves apart from their sneaker staring peers, but were still one of the high-points of the genre. Listen to Horror Head and you’ll understand why.

TALKING WITH FIREWORKS / HERE IT NEVER SNOWED – THE TWILIGHT SAD
Taking a kitchen sink approach to their wall of sound assault might would be this group’s finest quality, if it wasn’t for vocalist James Graham’s gorgeous Scottish accent. Sadly, The Twilight Sad are more famous for their former touring keyboardist, Martin Doherty, who is now one of the three members of Chvrches.

HEAVENLY NOBODIES – LUSH
Crunchier, poppier, and rockier than many other bands from shoegaze, Lush were, however, one of the very first bands to be handed the label. And, as this song proves, they were also one of the finest to wear it.

FALLING DOWN – CHAPTERHOUSE
At first glance, it would be easy to mistake this Reading group for Stone Roses posers. None of it. There’s a more acid-rock feel than many of their genre buddies, but make no mistake: Chapterhouse are shoegaze, through and through.

KILL RHYTHM – CATHERINE WHEEL
There are so many great tracks from the Billy Corgan inspiring Catherine Wheel that it’s difficult to pin them down to one. We’ve gone for Kill Rhythm and we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s an absolute banger.

BELL – SWIRLIES
It’s true, listen to this and you’ll be more swayed by the Sonic Youth than MBV comparisons, but this Boston group had just enough airiness and fuzz to sit at the same table as their shoegaze chums.

DUEL – SWERVEDRIVER
As much as Swervedriver are chock-full of absolute stunners, it simply had to be Duel. As hard as it is melodic, and as direct as it is dreamy, this is a masterpiece of weaving guitars and tumbling vocals that you’ll fall in love with over and over again.

SLOWDRONE – SHALLOW
We’ve reached the end and we’ve saved the best till last. Not part of the original scene and a band whose lack of acclaim during their existence should see the world’s ears issued with a life sentence. The music from this Kansas trio is heavy, beautiful, aching, and cathartic, while Julie Shields’ otherworldly vocals are the sound of a Commodore 64 given lips. Genius, absolute genius.

Words: Damien Girling


Listen to the whole 14-track playlist on the Songwriting Spotify Profile. You can find the Discover Shoegaze With Songwriting by purchasing the Spring 2018 edition of our digital magazine. Enjoy!



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