Joe Shoegazer is a shoegazing fanatic. Not only has he created an immense shoegaze group up in Facebook called ‘Shoegazer Sanctuary’ but his longstanding dedication to the scene has spread into creating playlists consisting entirely of underground shoegaze & dream pop artists from all around the globe & creating his own Tumblr based music blog called ‘Shoegazer Sanctuary Super Blog’. Earlier this year he joined forces with Primal Radio to create a radio show with a difference featuring underground shoegazing artists in all of their glory & ‘The Sanctuary’ was born. This brand new radio show broadcasts on the first Friday of every month via Primal Radio at 9PM UK & again at 9PM EST USA. We caught up with Joe and asked him to name his Top 5 releases of 2015. Below are his selections:
Hailing from Hamburg Germany Seasurfer is a band that has won my heart musically for their steadfastness in keeping their eyes focused on the goal of creating perfection within the electronica, dream pop, dream punk and shoegazer genres. Dirk Knight and now Julia Beyer not only create music that exemplifies these genres, but it is very apparent that the band is in love with making astounding music freely and categorization is secondary. With the imparting of Seasurfer’s lead singer Dorian E not long after their debut album “Dive In” was released in June of 2014 – The new lead singer, Julia Beyer, had a huge space to fill. Being a Seasurfer fan myself from the very first listen of “We Run” included in the Static Waves Compilation made available by Saint Marie Records I was eagerly awaiting to hear new music from the band. I fell in love with Dorian’s voice immediately. When I read that she had left the band I freaked out. Although upon listening to Headlights, Seasurfer’s most recent (4) Track EP released earlier this year and Julia Beyer’s voice along with Dirk Knight’s impeccable timing with merging the sound created from his guitar and the rest of the band, I fell in love with Seasurfer even more. It is apparent to me that Dirk Knight and Dorian E with all intensive purposes created Searsurfer to persevere the spirit of this greatness they create despite changes to the lead singer.
Ultraviolet has won my heart in ways I cannot describe upon my first listen I instinctively left their whole self titled debut play through to the end and felt as if the repeat button was in order after the last note. This shoegaze/dream-pop duo from Austin, Texas will mesmerize you with their sounds. Caitlin’s voice permeates the soul with her enchanting and ethereally soothing sound. The guitar work from James Grantham is pure shoegazer bliss with perfect guitar sound enhancement he brings to a fullness you will feel. This great shoegaze (4) track stunned my music receptors and every time I listened, it was like the first time. Lovely, mega lovely set of tracks by the amazing Ultraviolet. Many thanks to James Grantham & Caitlin Craighead for making such gorgeous and unforgettable music. Listen in to Ultraviolet’s self titled debut. Each track beckons the soul to absorb the pure shoegazery goodness.
Rare underground sounds always belonged to great college based radio shows which contained music that could not be heard anywhere, including mainstream radio. Around the early 90’s mainstream radio became a source of music I could not really get into for the most part. Brilliant Beast together with Fury Things are two bands that personify that great college radio like underground sound once again. Tracks like Brilliant Beast’s “No Fate” and “Summer Bummer” By Fury Things bring me back to when I would listen to college radio shows. Brilliant Beast’s track No Fate right from the beginning, with amazing reverberated out guitar and lead singer Hannah Porter’s beautiful voice grabs your senses and transports your mind back to the amazing college radio like sound I once knew. Summer Bummer by Fury Things possess the same essence and reminds you of hot summer nights driving in your car listening to college radio again. Ingenious collaboration guys love this EP immensely you are helping with the resurrection of that great college radio like sound and bringing it to an even more intense level! Check out the split EP.
The fact that Tamaryn makes a bold statement with her latest creation Cranekiss is part of what gives her newest album such prominence. Tamaryn Brown originally from New Zealand now lives in New York. Together with her long time collaborator Rex John Shelverton the band has been making great shoegaze albums since 2008, Tamaryn has also been involved in many music projects with several prominent artists since her inception. Recently with the release of her awesome (10) track, Cranekiss, Tamaryn and Jorge Elbrecht of Violens prove that a very well executed album coming from a shoegaze oriented artist doesn’t have to be confined to a specific genre sound to become a well polished, nostalgia evoking, great creation in sound and lyrics. Tamaryn’s gorgeous voice and bold lyrics resonate her musical journey in Cranekiss. Backed by deep emotion and a surprisingly commanding presence throughout every track Elbrecht places Tamaryn’s voice in the spotlight in an unprecedented fashion making this dance pop, dark rock and melancholy fusion of music into a power record catapulting Tamaryn exactly where she wants to be musically. Listen in to Cranekiss and you will see what I mean.
Kedra Caroline has the type of voice that just sinks into your psyche and changes your whole perception of music in a way that makes you appreciate the amalgamation of gorgeous instrumental sound and the female voice even more. The Moreling’s new EP released in early 2015 is a stunning masterpiece of incredibly gorgeous sound when mated with Kedra’s angelic voice will cause your heart to melt. I leave the whole EP playing every time I start any track. My favorite track “No Sign” evokes amazing visages, just like their premier video released Novemeber 25, 2015, of the seashore and Kedra’s voice filling the air like the the taste of the salt from the ocean waves. A must listen for any lover of great shoegaze.