“Beauty. Emotion. Love. Infinity. Distortion”: what does shoegaze mean today?

To mark our 15th birthday we asked some of our current favourite musicians what shoegaze means to them now, in 2019, after all of those revivals and resurrections and Pitchfork listicles. After all, it’s fair to say the landscape has changed quite dramatically from when we started out in 2004. We also asked what their favourite shoegaze record of the last 15 years (or so) is and there’s a Spotify playlist of most of them here

James Chapman, Maps
“Beauty, emotion, love, infinity and distortion.”
A Place To Bury Strangers Exploding Head (2009)

Billy Pratt, Raze
“When sound takes you away from anything good or bad to just away and content.”
Broken Little Sister Memories Violets & Demons (2010)

Mattis Andersson, Joar Andersén and Matilda Bogren, Echo Ladies
“The soundtrack of falling in and out of love. It is feelings, noise and beauty.”
The Raveonettes Pe’ahi (2014)

Josh Dickins, Perfect Body
“A trance-inducing wall of noise. More of a feeling than a genre of music.” TOY Join The Dots (2013)

James Deacon, Wylderness
“My Bloody Valentine, Primavera, Barcelona 2009: sunshine, blissful melodies, bone shaking noise.”
Slowdive Slowdive (2017)

Gray Tolhurst, Topographies
“The beauty of noise brought into crisp focus.”
Belong October Language (2006)

Henry Beaumont, Van Houten
“Noise, guitars, Kevin Shields, distortion, reverb, Only Shallow, big textures, Slowdive.”
DIIV Is The Is Are (2016)

Ryan Smith, bdrmm
Lost In Translation? My Bloody Valentine? Need I say more?”
Slowdive Slowdive (2017)

Lars Andersson, MOLLY
“Sonic experimentation and pretty melodies.”
Sway The Millia Pink & Green (2003)

Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter, Bodywash
“Vacuums, wool blankets, winter evenings, obfuscation; all of the above but in reverse.”
Chris: Asobi Seksu Citrus (2006); Rosie: My Bloody Valentine mbv (2013)

Hannah Van Loon, Tanukichan
“Embodying a contradiction, being soft and hard at the same time.”
My Bloody Valentine mbv (2013)

Eva M, Linda Guilala
“Feeling like floating in emotions.”
Plastic Girl In Closet Cocoro (2011)

Paula García, Sobrenadar
“A sort of quiet and fuzzy bliss. A mysterious tranquility lost among the night tide.”
Slowdive Slowdive (2017)

Henrique Laurindo, Buffalo Postcard
“Take a Byrds cassette, record Cocteau Twins over it and leave it in a damp basement for a month. Play the cassette.”
Crystal Stilts Alight Of Night (2008) and Slowdive Slowdive (2017)

Aaron Mills, Burning House
“Shoegaze means guitar being used in a new form – a beautifully refined chaos.”
My Bloody Valentine mbv (2013)

Daniel Land
“It’s the musical equivalent of abstract expressionism.”
Sway The Millia Pink & Green (2003) – “I’m cheating a bit; it was released in 2003, but I first heard it in 2007!”

Mark Peters
“The perfect way to incorporate a sense of 3D experimentation into the band format.”
Serena-Maneesh No 2: Abyss In B Minor (2010)

Adrian Dutt, Spectres
“As many knock-off bootleg pedals as possible all in one chain causing chaos.”
The Horrors Primary Colours (2009). “Does Lana Del Rey count?”

Emil Nikolaisen, Serena-Maneesh
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (between you and me HAHAHA)”
My Bloody Valentine mbv (2013)

Matt Ashdown, Mildred Maude
“I got into shoegaze while reading Nietzsche’s The Birth Of Tragedy – always reminds me of that.”
Body/Head The Switch (2018) 

Jamie Windless, Winter Gardens
“Texture, emotion and atmosphere. Production values are the integral cog that compliment those feelings/sound.”
Slowdive Slowdive (2017). (Honourable mentions for Blankenberge Radiogaze (2017) and Beach House 7 (2018))

Nathaniel Cramp, Sonic Cathedral
“A Venn diagram of melancholy and euphoria.”
The Radio Dept Pet Grief