Browsing Tag

Indie Shoegaze

BREGN put the humanity in our collective anxiety with his reflectively expositional lo-fi folk single, YOU AND ME

Danish singer-songwriter, BREGN, gave humanity hope in his latest single, YOU AND ME, which was officially released on November 18th to dispel the disquiet anxiety spilling from each new global catastrophe.

BREGN’s minimalist soundscapes and the sonorous sense of soul in his quiescent harmonies always strike a visceral chord. With this new melancholic shift, YOU AND ME hit like a tonne of bricks. In the same way Slowdive can hammer home the emotion solely through their reverb-laced angular guitar notes, the guitars in this sombrely sweet single drive you to the brink of tears. Before the choral storm in the outro as a torridly dystopian crescendo pushes you over the emotional edge.

Here’s to hoping next summer gives us a chance to embrace the season free from an ever-pervasive sense of dread.

“YOU AND ME is a reflection of our times; a mix of summer, love, the insecurities imposed by war, political drama, and the deepening energy crisis. There is hope in the continuation of believing that there is still a “You and Me” at the end of the day, that is what I wanted to convey.”

Listen to YOU AND ME on SoundCloud and Spotify.

Follow BREGN via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Minneapolis Shoegaze Revivalists, Lumari, Look into The ‘Neon Mirror’ in Their Inexplicably Alchemic Latest Single

Lumari

Pull yourself away from your Souvlaki, Loveless and Whirlpool albums and sink into the sublime reverb-drenched alchemy in the Minneapolis Dream Pop powerhouse, Lumari’s latest single, Neon Mirror.

With just a touch more intensity in the droning guitars that cradle the ethereally demure soul in Margo Pearson’s vocals which caress you on a multi-sensory level, Lumari achieved what so few shoegaze revivalists manage in this beguile-some release. They stayed true to the originator’s sound while throwing in plenty of their own post-modern flavour.

With touches of I Wanna Be Adored in the downward spirals of pulsating rhythm, there’s nostalgia to be here for sure; there’s also an unpredictability to the structuring of the inexplicably gripping release that stands testament to their songwriting and instrumental prowess.

Prior to founding Lumari, the founding members, Dave and Dan West could be found in the punk scene, opening for Green Day, NOFX and the Offspring. Once their tastes matured into an affinity for post-modern rock and Britpop, they teamed up with shoegaze lover Robert Caple and producer Eric Olson before completing the outfit with Margo Pearson.

Neon Mirror will officially release on November 11th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Belfast’s deafeningly ethereal shoegazers, Virgins, have launched their fever dream of an EP, transmit a little heaven.

October 14th, 2022, was a good day for shoegaze fans with the launch of the debut EP, transmit a little heaven, from the Belfast-based shoegazers Virgins. The up-and-coming trailblazers preach from the Smashing Pumpkins school of riffy ethereal dream pop, with colourful nods to Ride and the swirling choral textures of MBV.

In the title single, the crafters of sonic spectres simultaneously stayed true to the golden era of shoegaze with the signature lush reverb-wrapped walls of guitars and stayed true to their own authenticity through the cuttingly angular synaesthesia-inducing tonal hues that redact any hint of assimilation. The effortlessly outreaching vocals of Rebecca Dow that sting with emotion keep the lexicon clear just above the hazy euphonic guitars from Michael Smyth. The aural chemistry is more than palpable.

Listen to Virgins’ debut EP, released via Blowtorch Records, on Bandcamp & Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Burrow exposed the fear masquerading as perfectionism in his shoegazey indie debut, Spiral

Boorloo/Perth-based musician Drew Kendell has broken away from the hardcore scene to reign melodiously supreme under the moniker Burrow in the indie rock arena. His debut single, Spiral, is an achingly intimate serenade which consumes you with the same sense of soul as The National while playing with shoegaze-y distortion and cutting post-punk tones.

Spiral acts as a grippingly honest and revelationary exposition on the fear that masquerades as perfectionist behaviour. Between the lines and the shimmering reverb, it is a reminder to connect with our inner child and an acknowledgement that being human is a process.

As someone who constantly turns to Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine for catharsis, my shoegaze bar is set pretty high; Spiral still took me to a new plateau of appreciation for the stirringly sweet innovation effortlessly exuded by Burrow.

The official music video for Spiral will officially release on October 7th. Check it out on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

MidAmerican Elevator are dream-pop love fools in their latest single, Ivy

Ethereal enough to give you goosebumps, the Chicago indie-rock band MidAmerican Elevator’s latest single, Ivy, is an idyllically evocative masterpiece through the entwining of Cranberries-Esque vocal harmonies and artful percussion that chimes through the relentlessly mellifluous guitars.

Lyrically, Ivy captures the retrospective turmoil of realising that things weren’t as they seemed due to the misleading actions of a protagonist that couldn’t keep up the façade of charming perfection. Ivy makes it clear how much aural evolutionary room stands between The Cardigans’ Lovefool and this twilight-lit spectre of sweet naivety that the world would be infinitely more insufferable without.

Check out MidAmerican Elevator’s latest single, Ivy, on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kablamo traverses the otherworldly in their post-punk-y indie release, Unnatural

Kablamo self-proclaims their debut self-titled EP to be personal, genuine and, at times, indulgent; I can fully attest to the indulgence being universal once you slip into the seminal single, Unnatural.

Unnatural unravels through dreamy guitar melodies, glassy synths and ragged post-punk basslines beneath the dream pop vocals which mellifluously breeze through the sentimentally heartfelt release, which all too readily imparts the emotion. An evocative response to the kaleidoscopic colour of Unnatural is non-optional.

Any fans of Deerhunter, Beach House, Tame Impala and Wild Nothing will undoubtedly want to sink their teeth into this paradoxically ambiently striking release.

The debut self-titled EP hit the airwaves on September 9th. You can hear it for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mallaigh Ashton made the alt-90s her own with her latest dreampop single, With a Song

NYC-hailing singer-songwriter, Mallaigh Ashton, made the alt-90s her own in her indie dream-pop release, With a Song. Reminiscences of Mazzy Star are there, but nothing about With a Song feels fractionally assimilative. There’s a real sense that part of the alchemy in this track is from Ashton’s creative passion and unfiltered poetry spilling into a mic.

Her vocals get just enough prominence in the release to give the cutting lyricism on in-love-anxiety a firm hold on your heartstrings but there’s still enough synergy with the soft shoegaze guitars to give With a Song an almost phantasmal mellifluous air as it alludes to just how fragile love can make you.

As a staunch shoegaze fan, it is always daunting discovering new up and coming artists borrowing tones from the alt 90s, but the cynicism soon faded after hitting play on With a Song. Mallaigh Ashton is a matchlessly breath-taking artist.

With a Song is due for official release on March 4th; you can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Demure dream-pop royalty, speakeazie has released her debut album, Prohibition Hippie

The Minneapolis-based alt dream-pop artist that is never short of mesmeric material, speakeazie, has released her highly anticipated debut album, Prohibition Hippie, featuring the standout single, Disintegrate, which spins an engrossing narrative tale of a young girl losing control. Anyone that has ever felt their mask of sanity slip will undoubtedly want to delve into this compassionately orchestrated single.

Disintegrate shares a tonal palette with Echo and the Bunnymen’s earlier material. But with the instrumentals distorted via the wobbly tape delay effect, the bedroom pop single takes an authentically demure form.

speakeazie’s vocals parallel the evocative power of Florence Welch while keeping in line with the contemporary moody indie-pop vocal trend. By that we mean they are alchemic leagues ahead. Also written into Disintegrate’s mix is speakeazie’s influence of dreamy retro aesthetics and the 1920s. It is inarguably one of the most distinctive releases that we have heard so far this year.

speakeazie’s debut album is now available to stream on Spotify. Or you can check out the video on YouTube. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Zara Shahzad takes us through a dream-pop descent with her latest single, Fall from Grace

London-based singer-songwriter, Zara Shahzad, has released her eagerly-anticipated ethereally sweet indie dream-pop single, Fall from Grace. With nuances of shoegaze and trip-hop combined, the 21-year-old artist broke new aural ground with the deeply visceral single that unfolds around entrancing beats and reverb-laden angular guitars. Light and dark textures weave inexplicably together, never letting the melancholy overpower the sense of strength that Zara exhibits in the vulnerable release.

Any fans of Desperate Journalist and Cultdreams will undoubtedly want to add Fall from Grace to their new wave shoegaze and dream-pop playlists.

Fall from Grace is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Azure Wolf delivers strident poetry in their indie power-pop ballad, You Belong to Me.

The Winchester, VA indie rock outfit, Azure Wolf, have released their debut album, Tensions. Within the ten tracks, they have practically covered the entire emotional spectrum.

After starting with the shoegaze masterpiece, Black Fur, which captures the alienation in dissociation, the album flows into affectionately strident poetry with the standout single, ‘You Belong to Me’.

Around the shimmering guitars, Victoria Backle’s vocals pour unadulterated emotion into the mix as she proves what unconditional love looks like in the indie power-pop ballad that leaves you with no question about the authenticity of this ingenuity-powered outfit. With the folk, rock, pop and indie nuances all seamlessly infused, You Belong to Me breathes visceral alchemy.

Azure Wolf’s debut album, Tensions, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast