Words by: Laurent Shervington
We all know that Kevin Shields created shoegaze in his basement like 30 years ago but did this trend ever reach Australia?
Well yeah it did, here’s a list of the best Shoegaze/Dream Pop to come out of Australia in the last few years.
Led by mult-instrumentalist Elise Higgins, this local shoegaze outfit had their 2014 debut EP “Atmosphere” produced by none other than Darren Lawson (My Bloody Valentine, White Lies, Editors) who helped Higgins create a sound drenched in reverb and noise. This EP has been very well received, even internationally and you’d be doing yourself a disservice not familiarising yourself with it.
Last month Brisbane duo Donovan Miller and Sam George-Allen FOREVR released “DEMONSTATION” a 4 song journey in the more romantic side of shoegaze with their most likely influences lying somewhere between Slowdive and No Joy.
Are a slightly more obscured band, Perth band Soon released “always again” in 2013 which did a incredible job of pulling off strong Cocteau Twins vibes with a production level that even Robin Guthrie would approve of. This band hasn’t showed much activity since 2014, so here’s hoping we get to hear more from them in the future.
From the suburbs of Perth, Starcleaner came out with an excellent release with gravel royalty/in exchange. Both songs felt incredibly well thought out and proved a logical step up from 2013’s Generation Fire, which I would also recommend. Check them out if you like more drawn out shoegaze, with male vocals.
VHS Royalty from Melbourne have a more synth-y approach to their songs which worked really well in their 2014 release “Wonderfully Hopeless”. The band is definitely very assertive about keeping to a lo fi mix and this has helped them seek out a sound that is unique to them. For fans of Flying Saucer Attack and even early lo-fi Wavves fans would get a kick out of this.
The Laurels have been around for a while with their poppy approach to the genre, backed by some truly excellent song writing. While these guys definitely show a strong Ride influence, they’re not content to rest on their laurels (hah) and worked to create something really unique on their debut “Plains”. These guys are really one to watch and there have been rumours of a new record on the way which is sure to be highly anticipated.
Sydney 3 piece Skullsquadron established they have quite an impressive sound with 2014 2-song release “Sinking The Ghost Ship”. Their sound is very much in the same vein as Swervedrive and Ride, with slightly more modern production. Dom Alessio of Triple J Unearthed described these guys as ” a shoegaze fan’s wet dream” but I like to think of these guys as ever shoegaze fan’s girl next door; sweet, dreamy and just the right amount of crazy.