While different genres of music are constantly morphing and mashing together, it’s becoming harder to distinguish between them.
Shoegazing, a subgenre of alternative rock popularized in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s in Britain, is known for the reliance on the sense of sound rather than movement on stage.
The name generated from music acts that stood motionless and stared at the floor during their performance while they created sometimes melodically ambient and thrashing riffs effortlessly.
Like all subgenres, shoegazing merely denoted a certain group of bands that derailed from the mainstream realm of alternative rock with a distinct “new” sound and style.
Most of these bands were based in London and the Thames Valley region of England.
Some of the first bands to be labeled shoegazers included My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Lush, and Slowdive. They contained the power to introduce ambient echoes and build up beautiful walls of distortion and delay to coat their landscapes of sound. Shoegazing is marked by a certain internalization of energy, reverberation, and distortion during the performance process.
But is shoegazing strictly a thing of the past?
Take a listen to a few modern bands that channel the intangible, ambient aftershocks of this interesting subgenre of music.
M83: Marked by a dreamy electronic combination of sounds, “Skin of The Night” makes you feel like you’re floating through space.
Blonde Redhead: “23” is subliminal and strong, contributing to it’s ethereal and supernatural feel.
Over the Atlantic: “Drama” contains a certain nostalgia to the ‘80s and 90’s shoegazing of the past. The lyrics are soft, emotional, and rhythmic yet at the same time seem more mainstream than the later two.
Seefeel: “Fracture” takes you on an abstract and surrealist journey through piercing beats and scattered lyrical breakthroughs of noise.