The shoegazing music subgenre emerged in the latter half of the 80s decade in the United Kingdom. The subgenre is characterized by reverberating guitars, textural vocals, and soft and captivating vocals. Gradually with time, the shoegazing music genre caught the fancy of the music lovers, and it garnered a nice fan following for itself. Even today, music fans debate which one of the holy trinity should boast of the most attractive and influential record in this particular subgenre. All three of them have broken each other’s records and are vying for the top spot. In such a scenario, it’s pretty hard to conclude which rock band has the upper hand. It’s also important to know the details about the shoegazing music subgenre.
A Brief History of the Shoegaze Music Genre
The British media came up with the term shoegaze to describe bands performing on stage staring at their shoes. The main features to identify a shoegaze music genre are dreamy layered volume and vocals, plenty of guitar distortion, etc. You will feel as if the sound is building a wall around you and getting encapsulated within it.
You might have attended Rock ‘n’ Roll shows and had a great time. Shoegaze doesn’t promise you that. It’s for the people who are just as coy as the performers themselves. A fan of the shoegaze genre wants a wall of sound around them to avoid the bad thoughts clouding their minds. The main factor is the desire to experience feedback and heavy distortion. Being performative has never been the key. And this applies to both the performers and the fans.
The Pioneers of the Shoegaze Music Genre
Though my Bloody Valentine's rock band is the poster child, they aren't the actual pioneers of the shoegaze music genre. Talking about the bands that started this genre, Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, take the cake. Heaven or Las Vegas is the most commercially successful album by the Cocteau Twins. Garland, their debut work that hit the charts in 1982, has mixed goth and post-punk. Even Head over Heels, the album that was released in 1983, was a runaway hit.
My Bloody Valentine got its breakthrough with Isn’t Anything, their debut album, in 1988. If you listen to their single, Soft as Snow, you will realize why the band is famous for beginning the era of the shoegaze music genre. It was in 1991 that they released Loveless, their sophomore album. If you feel the melancholy in the track, Sometimes, you are bound to have tears in your eyes. You wouldn’t believe that Loveless. The recording of this song took place for two years. Nineteen studios were booked, and 45 engineers worked on it. This particular record brought about a revolution in the shoegaze community, and it wouldn’t be wrong to admit that it became the epitome of the shoegaze music genre.
Which Bands Entered the Scene at that time?
When Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine were rising the charts, various other shoegaze bands carved a niche for themselves in the shoegaze scene. Chapterhouse, Pale Saints, Catherine Wheel, Swervedriver, Moose from the United Kingdom, Drop Nineteens, Swirlies, and Medicine from America left their mark.
During the early half of the 90s, My Bloody Valentine got competition from the band Slowdive. The band released Just for a Day, their debut album, in 1991. Souvlaki, their second album, was released two years later and became a milestone in the shoegaze genre. Several shoegaze fans still adore it.
This excellent comeback suggests one thing, and that is, the genre is probably not fading away. In the second decade of the 21st century, plenty of shoegaze bands have started. And the best part is people are already talking about these bands even if they are still in their nascent stage. Shoegaze has managed to arouse the interests of music lovers yet again. That proves that the music genre still captures a special place in the hearts of music fans.
With the evolution of this genre, fans are finding newer elements to this kind of music. And we can say that this implies that it isn’t only for the reverbs and heavy distortion anymore. So, are you a fan of the shoegaze bands too? Let us know in the comments section!