The Evolution of "Shoegaze"
After recording early demos resembling The Ramones, The Jesus and Mary Chain decided to alter their sound by adding feedback and ambient noise. Shoegaze was born with the release of their first single, “Upside Down,” in 1984 on Creation Records, topping the UK Indie Chart in February of 1985. Classified by the atmospheric soundscapes, guitar effects, and hazy lyrics, Shoegaze filled the guitar-band niche at a time when most bands were making electric-pop music.
Creation Records continued to be a major player in the Shoegaze genre, releasing records with Ride and Slowdive. The label also produced My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, reaching the peak of Shoegaze, while simultaneously approaching bankruptcy in the process. My Bloody Valentine front-man Kevin Shields spent two years in twenty different studios, and despite the albums massive success on the charts after its release in 1991, Creation Records dropped the band because of production costs.
Although Shoegaze declined in the mid-90s due to the rise of grunge and Brit pop, it continues to influence current genres. Dream-Pop and Nu-Gaze became popular in the late 90s and early 2000s with bands like M83 and The Radio Dept sharing Shoegaze’s atmospheric sound, and The Pains Of Being, Pure at Heart and Deerhunter drawing inspiration from Shoegaze’s droning guitar effects.
Shoegaze was officially introduced to Bucknell this semester through the WVBU radio show “Showgazed.” You can catch it on Mondays from 8:00-9:00pm!