Tag Archives: Shoegaze

somesurprises Makes Dreamy Music Anchored Firmly in Reality

Some Surprises

The journey of somesurprises begins down the winding roads and rolling hills outside of Charlottesville, VA. Natasha El-Sergany was just out of law school when she began recording hundreds of wispy psychedelic soundbytes featuring lightly strummed guitar and her tempered, hushed vocals. El-Sergany’s quiet experiments led her to the Charlottesville scene, where she found a home of sorts.

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A Brief Guide to the Shoegaze Scene in Russia

Blankenberge

Blankenberge

With his tongue perhaps buried in his cheek, Andrey Portnykh of Samara, Russia’s Your Friends Polymers offers this when asked why the country’s shoegaze bands haven’t netted more international attention: “It’s a common fact that foreign people gaze at their shoes more carefully, while Russians mainly read Dostoevsky and attend ballet.”

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Another Planet Distribution Revives Experimental Sounds from South Korea

Another Planet

“When I arrived in [South] Korea, everyone told me there was no good experimental or electronic music here,” says Curtis Cambou, aka DJ 6TS. “I felt like I wanted to prove the contrary. Every little moment I had free, I would go digging for records. I started finding good Korean experimental music, avant-garde jazz, and good electronic music as well. After a few years, I thought, maybe I’m in the position to start something.”

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Hidden Gems: Lo! Peninsula, “AKA Lo Peninsula”

hidden gems

In our series Hidden Gems, writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries.

There’s a poster on the wall in the tiny Imphal apartment where India’s Lo! Peninsula recorded this debut EP, that could serve as their mission statement: “No Borders, No Nations. Just People.”

In 2017, their city was at the frontlines of the ongoing Manipur insurgency, and the Indian military was in charge, imposing a harsh crackdown on public life. The room was a refuge. It wasn’t uncommon, as the band recorded, to have to pause for unrest in the streets to die down. Sometimes there’d be no electricity all day. Guitarist Nitin Shamurailatpam, bassist Avinash Thokchom, and drummer Jyotin Elangbam would pace the room like tigers in a cage, boredom and restlessness raging, frustrations crashing. The band’s intermittent struggles stoked a collective yearning for escapism; what resulted was AKA Lo Peninsula, a six-song EP wrapped in luminescent, hazy dream-pop bliss teeming with reverb-soaked shoegaze pleasures.

There’s desperation and defeat on AKA Lo Peninsula, but also defiance. The album starts with a stoic acceptance of existential crisis on “Another Divine Joke” before laying out a searing diagnosis of the government’s failures on “Sleight of Hand.” A forceful bassline propels these songs, ducking and weaving around the ringing, jangly guitars. “Flashback Kid” waxes nostalgic, slowing the tempo and drifting to floatier post-rock territory with extended mellow, playful guitar sections. “Quicksand (Nuffin)” and “Evil Favours” contemplate broken lives and halted plans, diving deep into pools of reverb with melancholy vocal lines soaring above the fuzz. The EP ends with “Final Roar,” which is nothing short of a shoegaze miracle. It’s a cosmic epic that finds the musicians’ eyes finally lifting and looking forward—beyond nations, beyond borders.

Krish Raghav

Kranky Celebrates 25 Years of Independence—and Patient Listening

Kranky

What does it take for an independent record label to survive for a quarter-century? Joel Leoschke, the co-founder of independent stalwart Kranky, has the answer. “Well, a lot of work, of course,” he observes, “but also stubbornness, and a refusal to be sidelined or distracted from the core job of disseminating and promoting sounds we feel deserve wider attention.”

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Album of the Day: SRSQ,“Unreality”

We were first introduced to Kennedy Ashlyn as half of Them Are Us Too, the Bay Area dream-pop duo who built stunning and luxurious soundscapes that garnered more than a few comparisons to Cocteau Twins. (These comparisons were, at surface, fair, but failed to capture the pair’s uniqueness—the range of Ashlyn’s voice, the way she worked harmoniously with Cash Askew’s luminous guitar work, and so forth.) In the great tragedy of the Ghost Ship fire, Askew was lost to the world. There was a posthumous release, the lovely Amends, which offered a glimpse at how Them Are Us Too were growing before their time was cut short; they’d been a group with so much life in them. Ashlyn took time to mourn, and struck out on her own when she was ready with her solo project, SRSQ. Continue reading

Lifetime Achievement: As SPC ECO, Curve’s Dean Garcia Charts a New Course

Dean GarciaIn our Lifetime Achievement series, Bandcamp Daily takes a deep dive into the work of artists with a staggering number of releases to their name.

To say Dean Garcia speaks quickly would be an understatement. Though he just turned 60 a few weeks back, the London native has the drive and energy of someone half—or even a third—his age, which is appropriate for someone who has about five different projects going at any one time.

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Album of the Day: Tanukichan, “Sundays”

San Franciscos Hannah van Loon, like most of us, knows Sundays often offer the chance to embrace the comedown from the weekend and think about whats next. Making music under the name Tanukichan, her debut album Sundays is an ode to uncertainty, where van Loon’s lyrics about love and longing float through foggy, layered atmospherics that are punctured with piercing basslines. Co-written and produced by Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi, the album is less about directly answering personal questions for van Loon, but rather creating an immersive space where she can sort through her most fleeting thoughts and emotions safely. Continue reading