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I'm sorry to say that I've not heard of any of these folks, with the exception of My Bloody Valentine. I don't think I've heard any of the music either.

I strongly recommend Slowdive, at least if you like the song I posted. I think their appeal is wider than that of anybody else on that list (of the ones I've heard).

I agree with Mac's judgment on the majority of the stuff that we both have heard. But in comparing notes we found that there were a lot of records here that neither of us have heard, and also quite a few that one of us has heard but not the other.

Our conversation about this subject started last week upon my discovery of this video by a band I had previously never heard of, The Veldt, who put out a couple albums in the 90's then reformed as Apollo Heights to do one album in 2007, which is very hard to find. And apparently now they're The Veldt again. This song, "Everlasting Gobstopper," is from the Apollo Heights record. Definitely shoegaze-sounding, although I think you can hear a little Prince in there as well!


I think this performance is partially sequenced (for one thing there's no drummer in sight) but it's great stuff nevertheless.

I'm with Mac on Slowdive probably being the best representative of this music.

As far as #3 goes (Ride) I would have picked this song instead of the one they chose:


And my favorite "heavy" song of theirs is this:


I haven't even heard the album from which that last track is taken (Going Blank Again). Somehow I got the idea that Nowhere was their only good album. Apparently not!

The song by The Veldt sounds like Cocteau Twins with a male vocalist. CT always (as far as I know) used a drum machine.

I don't like GBA nearly as much as Nowhere, but there are definitely some good tracks on it, and I think "Cool Your Boots" is one of their best songs period. It's the stuff that came after GBA that isn't so great.

I believe CT always recorded with a drum machine but had a drummer with them on tour in their later years. Drum machine technology certainly advanced over the span of their career. On their early stuff it's quite clear that the drums are electronic, but by Milk & Kisses(1996) it's hard to tell.

"it's one of only two sub-genre names which, when applied to a band, will cause me to be interested in hearing the music even if I have no other information about it. The other is trip-hop."

Do you know Hooverphonic's album A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular? It has elements of both and is excellent.

Yes, I do, and it is indeed excellent. I can't remember how I came across it but it may well have had something to do with seeing it described as trip-hop.

I've listened to Loveless twice over the past few days. It's definitely grown on me. I like it but not nearly as much as the best of Slowdive's stuff.

Had a listen through #41, Starflyer 59's Gold and also their first one, Silver. Liked them both. Also like the Asobi Seksu one very much.

Not really shoegaze at all, but my record of the year for 2018 is Low's Double Negative, which is probably like nothing you've ever heard: quiet, but full of noise, and gorgeous.

I just revisited them after not hearing any of their stuff for a long time, but their 2015 album Ones and Sixes is one of my favorites of the last five years, and then they do this amazing album late last year.

Listening to clips just doesn't do it justice.

Isn't there something on Things We Lost in the Fire that sort of fits that description? Anyway, sounds enticing.

I also love shoegaze and trip hop! I have a playlist on spotify that has a bit of all kinds of dreamy music like that, and also some minimalist and classical stuff, and chillstep and vaporwave on the quirkier side. More about the atmosphere than the genre lines. I like both the Ulrich Schnauss albums you mention a lot.

"Isn't there something on Things We Lost in the Fire that sort of fits that description?"

Yes, somewhat, but DN is really a whole new ballgame. Lots of distortion and glitchy stuff, but with this beauty present underneath constantly fighting its way to the surface. It's like nothing I've heard before. I've sat and listened to it about once a week since I first got it back in December.

I'll definitely check that out. Melody + noise is a combination I really like.

Chillstep and vaporwave are new to me, Xenie. Sounds intriguing. Any recommendations? I guess chillstep is some development of dubstep? I thought I liked dubstep when I thought it meant Burial. Then I heard Skrillex...

Well if you want to see everything I've got, this is the playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/22zisv47jrbzneu37vyolzp2q/playlist/3v2WGB69yhuCCd8Sro1HbJ?si=8Y_Mc66RQUGyXNy-e8IPqw

And no, I'm not a fan of dubstep at all really, but chillstep is kind of similar to trip hop, with the beat but also quiet and downtempo. There are some compilations called the Chillstep Files that you can check out.

Vaporwave is kind of weird, lots of samples from TV and radio, a fascination with the plastic culture of the 1980s. I like Nmesh and 18 Carat Affair. And Com Truise.

Anyways if you check out my playlist let me know what you think. It has followers but no one has ever said a peep to me so I always wonder if it is enjoyable to anyone other than me and my husband, who has similar tastes.

Thank you, I'll give that a whirl. I have a Spotify account but haven't used it for a while. I'll see if I can fire it up.

Xenie, I'm enjoying your playlist. Took me a while to get Spotify going. It's a free account so when the commercials jump out it's pretty startling. I know a number of the artists: The Album Leaf, Lali Puna, Mum, Dntel, of course Sigur Ros, Marconi Union. But many are new to me.

Vaporwave sounds very intriguing.


Yeah it's a work in progress. I do a major revamp every few months, and a lot of periodic trimming and adding of new things I come upon. I have a paid subscription to spotify because I love having access to so many things I haven't heard before.

At the moment I have two paid subscriptions, one to Tidal and one to Pandora (the premium on-demand thing, not the radio). Long story but I'm trying to decide which one to keep. When I do, the one I pick will probably fold. :-) That's what happened with Rdio, which I loved. I don't like Spotify's user interface, although I see now that it's been cleaned up a good bit since I last used it.

It says your playlist has 9,996 songs on it. !!

I've listened to #'s 14 and 30 a few times over the past several days. 14, My Bloody Valentine's MBV, is pretty much MBV: if you like them you'll like it, if you don't you won't. For myself I find it's a sound I appreciate more than like.

#30 is Blonde Redhead's 23, which frankly I don't see why is on the list. Only two of the songs are very shoegazey, while the rest are more of a lighter, somewhat quirky dream-pop. Not bad, mind you, but not shoegaze.

Next up: The Veldt - Afrodisiac and Slowdive's Pygmalion, which I've never heard.

On the list they have M83's Dead Cities..., which didn't do much for me. But Mac, you may like their 2011 album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. It's a 2-disc amalgam of electronica, 80s-style synth rock, and anthemic ambience. It's got 22 tracks, not all of which work, obviously, but imo a good 3/4 of them are great stuff.

That does indeed sound interesting.

If I remember correctly, Pygmalion is somewhat different from Slowdive's other stuff, and that I didn't like it as well.

Agreed about MBV. I like Loveless but I don't think it's going to be a big favorite. I'm a little surprised that they're so revered. It's not the friendliest music.

"If I remember correctly, Pygmalion is somewhat different from Slowdive's other stuff"

Yes, I've read that too. I have their EP "5," which came between Souvlaki and Pygmalion, and I really only like one song on it.

Notes on current listening:

'Pygmalion' didn't do much for me. Mostly ambient, which I don't mind, but not particularly interesting ambient.

Ulrich Schnauss -- I'd never heard of the artist, but listening to 'Far Away Trains...' I found I was very familiar with the general style, as it appears on the several "chill-out" compilations that I own. Good stuff.

The Emerald Down -- 'Scream the Sound' This originally came out in 2001 but was re-released in 2016. Sort of a cross between MBV and Slowdive, with the sonics of the former being combined with the musicality of the latter. As such it's not particularly original, and at first it struck me as good but fairly derivative. Upon a second listen, however, it seems more like this record wasn't so much a knock-off as it was an homage, but one that sought to push the envelope a little bit, by combining the various shoegaze elements into something of a whole, then tossing in a little electronica for spice. Not all of it works, mind you, but the good stuff on the album is very good.

The Veldt -- 'Afrodisiac' Not bad, but a bit more psychedelic than I like, and I found the sexual nature of the some of the lyrics off-putting.

Exitmusic -- 'Passage' Not exactly shoegaze, but big loud dreampop -- like Beach House on steroids, some of it approaching Sigur Ros wall-of-sound territory. Very good melodies for the most part, but singer Rose Palladino's voice took a little getting used to for me, at times reminding me of something like a female Eddie Vedder, if you can imagine such a thing.

Good heavens, you're right, she does. I'd kind of forgotten what they sound like so I played From Silence, their EP which is the only thing I've heard by them. I like it a lot though.

As I think I said earlier, I was disappointed in Pygmalion, too. I remember that at one point it was the only album of theirs that I hadn't heard so I was looking forward to it. Haven't heard it for a long time.

The guy I bought the CD from online threw in a copy of 'From Silence,' but I haven't listened to it yet. I think only one of the four songs is repeated on the album.

Having just listened to the whole thing, I really like it.

Listened to 'From Silence' last night -- very much like 'Passage.' The song that appears on both is "The Modern Age."

I'm not sure but I think that track may have been a freebie that caused me to buy the whole EP.

#42, "Against Perfection" by Adorable is my favorite 'unheard' one so far. Generally falls pretty much in the Ride/Catherine Wheel vicinity.

I haven't gotten past #48 yet. It's good but doesn't necessarily stand out.

Are you doing them in order?

I've got the Asobi Seksu one up next. I listened to the Boo Radleys one a couple times over the weekend, but I like their previous record, "Everything's Alright Forever" a lot more. It strikes me as more cohesive, while "Giant Steps" is all over the place musically speaking.

Sorta. It will take me a long time, as there's so much other music to listen to. It will probably be an occasional thing, like my ongoing effort to make a list of all the Scarlatti sonatas I have (mainly so I can find the ones I like, since they're only identified by numbers).

Over the past week I've spent some time with both Asobi Seksu and Starflyer 59. I like the former very much. The latter have some good songs, but a fair amount of what I've heard, mostly from their first two records "Silver" and "Gold," veers a little too much in the grunge/metal direction for my taste. There are a few tracks on each disc that sound a bit like Ride or Catherine Wheel, but an equal amount are in the Smashing Pumpkins vein, and that's a style I'm not keen on. Although I must say I do like S.P.'s (relatively) quieter album "Adore" a lot.

Two of my children, now in their mid to late 30s, were big Pumpkins fans, so I heard them a good bit. I might have liked some of their stuff more than I did if they'd had a different singer. I really disliked Billy Corgan's voice. Never really heard Adore.

I listened to Turning Into Small (somewhere in the high 40s on that list) the other day only because it happened to be on the MP3 cd currently in my car. That was probably the 3rd time I've heard it, enough for me to put it pretty firmly in the "interesting but not loved" category. It is inventive but in a jumpy, fragmented sort of way.

Personally, I don't love his voice but I can live with it. I can certainly see why his voice would be a turn-off to some people though.

I like Adore a lot, and the b-sides compilation Pisces Iscariot.

I do like Starflyer 59 quite a bit but it's not on my quiet list, but my loud list with Anberlin and Mae and some other "Christian emo" type stuff I admittedly have a weakness for.

"Christian emo" does not sound very promising. :-)

I'm about to go off pop music for Lent, so will not be hearing any more of these groups, or posting about pop music. So I will mention now something that I had sort of meant to do a blog post about:

Mark Hollis of Talk, Talk died a week or two ago. That prompted me to get out the two generally-considered-to-be-masterpieces albums of theirs (his), Spirit of Eden and Laughingstock. Wow, they are even better than I remembered. I had mostly heard them in the car and they're really not suitable for that. They truly are masterpieces of a very unusual sort. Can't even call them pop music, really.

I discovered that after he abandoned Talk Talk and mostly he dropped out of the music business he produced a self-titled solo album which I haven't heard but which AllMusic says is quite good.

RIP, Mark Hollis. I hadn't known about his passing -- very sorry to hear it.

Yes, those two albums are magnificent. And the others aren't too shabby, either.

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