Introducing shoegaze (Part 1) | written by ITOI Akane

Toegazer - ITOI Akane
Toegazer – ITOI Akane

What is a “shoegazer”?

As part of the “toegazer” release project, I have written an article entitled “My influences in shoegaze”.
To begin with, what is shoegaze?
I guess it means a song with a roaring guitar sound and sweet melodies with ambiguous vocals.
I have always been attracted to ambiguous things and blurred worlds, and I think I have arrived at this through my own personality.
Shoegaze” is a genre that I deeply love and that has formed the roots of my music.
I will try to delve into that music with words this time.

my bloody valentine – when you sleep

This is the song that got me started listening to foreign music.
I first encountered it when the band’s visit to Japan at Fuji Rock in 2008 was the talk of the town.
I fell in love at once with the balance between the endlessly deep distorted guitars, the vague and almost buried vocals, the sweet and sad melodies, and everything in between.
The album “loveless” is the most stunning piece of music I have ever listened to.
It was one of the songs I chose when I had just started the cover series, and I have fond memories of the last-minute agonizing over the choice of synth sounds for the theme.

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklans

I learned about my bloody valentine and delved into shoegaze… and ended up at The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Then I learned about The Jesus and Mary Chain and got swamped by the record company “Creation Records”….
Of course I like their 1st album “Psychocandy”, but my favorite album is their 2nd “Darklands”.
The noise punk of the 1st album is their charm, but I really like this album, which continues to have dark but shining melodies throughout the 2nd album.
This song was also selected for the cover series.
I have been very influenced by the lyrics of this song, so I felt very comfortable singing it.

Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers

I dig into “The Jesus and Mary Chain” and continue on to the record company “4AD” and then the Cocteau Twins.
(And then we get stuck in the 4AD swamp…)
Wasn’t it Cocteau Twins that laid the foundation for Dream Pop? I personally think that the Cocteau Twins laid the foundation of dream pop.
The dreamy sound and the overwhelming voice of Elizabeth Frayer were the one and only sound that only the Cocteau Twins could complete.
Carolyn’s Fingers is my favorite song, but I chose “Lorelei” for the cover series.
The reason for this selection was that I thought it was the only song that Cocteau Twins might be able to sing….

Slowdive – When the Sun Hits

The three bands up to this point have captivated with their delicate and beautiful melodies and voices.
Slowdive is a band that has added strength to this and created a sound and melody that approaches the POP scene that starts here.
I love the moment when the drums and shoegaze guitars start to play after the quiet atmosphere of the beginning of this song, and I love the feeling of the world opening up.
I would like to try this song in a cover series someday.

Pale Saints – Sight of You

Pale Saints are the refreshing shoegazer in my opinion.
The album “The Comforts of Madness” is a collection of songs with a fresh brilliance that penetrates through the shoegaze genre, which is often heavy and dark.
The song I selected, “Sight of You,” is like the sparkling sunlight spilling through the fresh greenery in May, but I love the fact that it is somehow tinged with melancholy.
I always try to make the original song as close to the original as possible, but for this song, I arranged it with several choruses overlaid on top of each other.
It was one of my ways to get closer to their freshness.


Introducing shoegaze (Part 2)

Click here for the part 2

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