“I always thought Robert Smith was the coolest, as he just stood there and let the music flood out. That anti showmanship was perfect, so I never really understood why people began to use "shoegaze" as a negative term. I think if Slowdive didn't stand there looking at what pedal was about to go on and off we'd have been shite”.
- Simon Scott (Slowdive drummer)
Shoegaze is characterized by overwhelming volume, with long, droning riffs, waves of distortion, and cascades of feedback with vocals and melodies disappearing into the wall of guitar sound. It emerged in the UK in the late 1980s among neo-psychedelic groupswho usually stood motionless during live performances in a detached, non-confrontational state. The name comes from the heavy use of effects pedals, as the guitarists were often looking down at their banks of effects pedals during concerts.
In the early 1990s shoegaze was pushed aside by the American grunge movement and early Britpop acts, forcing the relatively unknown shoegaze bands to break up or reinvent their style altogether.Since the late 2010s, a renewed interest in the genre has been noted with several sub genres emerging including “nu gaze”, “metalgaze” and “blackgaze”, while in Japan the genre has become increasingly popular with bands such as Cocteau Twins influencing the creation of new "art school" shoegaze.
Here at Flying Nun we reckon shoegaze is great and do what we can to stock represses of seminal albums from the past alongside contemporary shoegaze influenced releases.