Since the release of their 2021 EP, Paradise, the Australian shoegaze duo Luce Cargo have been honing their talents and attuning the authenticity in their sonic signature; I Don’t Belong Hereis the first exhibition of their freshly manicured dream pop sound, and it is a sign that if any outfit is strong enough to stand at the vanguard of the 21st-century Shoegaze resurgence, it is them.
With soft angular guitars which echo Slowdive influences leading into My Bloody Valentine-esque walls of distortion, the progressive instrumentation sets the tonal shifts for the vocals which transition from bleeding into the reverb-laden synths with blissful accordance to bursts of primal candour.
The title gives plenty of clues to what the lyrics relay, but the resonance for anyone who feels alienated in their existentialism shouldn’t be underestimated. The compassionately relatable narration of loneliness holds a mirror to the fractures that splinter across society, leaving us all disconnected in an increasingly connected world.
I Don’t Belong Here was officially released on September 29; stream it on Spotify.
If you placed yourself in the middle ground of Elliott Smith and Slowdive, you would be in good company with the sonorously spectral debut single, Here With Me, from Foreign Saints.
With a slice of psychedelia written into the indie pop songwriting chops, Here With Me unravels as a hazy kaleidoscope of wistful colour. As the lyrics allude to what’s lost through time and distance, the dreamy instrumentals envelop you in their reverb-swathed cathartic tonality.
The bedroom pop project from the Brooklyn-based musician, Thomas Roberts, may not be far past its inception, but Roberts is already proving himself to be an unreckonable resonant force. Fans of The Japanese House, War on Drugs, and Day Wave won’t want to let the project slip them by, especially with the debut EP in the pipeline.
Here With Me is now available to stream on Spotify.
Indie rock siren of a songstress Lindsey Black borrowed a few shoegaze elements to amplify the arrestive beguile in her latest independently released single, Undone, which hit the airwaves on February 3rd. As the single progresses, tinges of Americana amplify the sincerity of the soul exhibited in the candourous serenade that features on her second studio album, flight.
Any fans of Desperate Journalist and The Twilight Sad will easily succumb to the pensively sublime orchestration of Undone, which also carries hints of the Manic Street Preachers’ more soulfully reaching records. With Graeme Young in the iconic Chamber Studios in Edinburgh in charge of the recording for the sophomore album, it was never going to fall flat, but only a voice as serenely vulnerable as Lindsey Black’s could reach so transcendently high.
Undone is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.