Thursday, April 14, 2011

Month of the Girl Band: day 14 shoegazing and dream pop

Recently I highlighted Cocteau Twins HERE, Throwing Muses both HERE and HERE and also the Dutch band The Nightblooms HERE, so I will refrain from repeating myself, and instead add to the assortment a few other girl bands of the shoegaze persuasion.

First off I think Mazzy Star deserves some notice. To clarify, Mazzy Star is the band's name, not that of the lead singer. Her name is Hope Sandoval and she started Mazzy Star with David Roback in the late 80s. Hope was still in high school when a friend passed her demo tape on to Roback, who was then playing with, Opal, touring with Jesus and Mary Chain. When he partner left mid-tour Hope filled in as a replacement. Not at all a bad way to break into the music business. Technically Mazzy Star came out of a movement called the Paisley Underground, as had the Bangles earlier, but I think they fit well enough into today's category.

I think just as much as loving Harriet Wheelers's voice, of The Sundays, I loved her hair. The Sundays are a bit more dreampop than shoesgaze. With a quite lovely and soothing sound, versus the sometimes jarring wall of noise that is more common in the shoegaze genre, I find myself listening to The Sundays when I need some inner peace.

Lush was one of the first shoegaze bands I discovered and one of the longest lasting. From 1989-1996 the band was the essence of shoegaze, then with their album Lovelife the band converted to more of a standard Britpop band with songs like "Ladykiller".

My Bloody Valentine is a band I never really connected with for some reason. I think it has to do with what I find to be overly distorted lyrics, but they are a very talented bunch and a lot of my friends have been long time fans.

A newer band I like is The Raveonettes. They have a little rockabilly in their shoegaze, which makes them unique. I saw them play two years ago at Lollapalooza, and they are currently touring the US in support of their new album Raven in the Grave.

A few other shoegaze bands I don't know much about, but like, are Thrushes, Medicine, The Swirlies, Cranes, Blonde Redhead.

Cocteau Twins


Mazzy Star

The Raveonettes


1. "Heaven or Las Vegas" - Cocteau Twins

2. "Hook in Her Head" - Throwing Muses

3. "Blue Marbles" - The Nightblooms

4. "Blue Flower" - Mazzy Star

5. "Wild Horses" - The Sundays

6. "Sweetness and Light" - Lush

7. "Never Say Goodbye" - My Bloody Valentine

8. "Forget that You're Young " - The Raveonettes

9. "Heartbeats" - Thrushes

10. "Wrong Tube" - The Swirlies

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