Category Archives: shoegaze

#379 Ekra – A ‘Lil Called Strength

I haven’t been this excited in a long while. In fact, I think this is the best thing I’ve heard since 2012 started.

Ekra is an NYC-based husband and wife duo, who make some of the most glorious, noise inspired melodies that reek of certain depravities and sensitivities. All at once, it is a hurtful hiss of lashing snakes backed in a corner, and blissful surrender to the fates that toy with us so.

I’ve been looking for that particular sound, that would drown me in its waves of emotion, asphyxiate me in its splendour, embrace me in its all-encompassing arms, and I think I’ve found it through the magic presented here.

The astounding thing about this music, is that it’s so very primal. There’s a particular minimalism that strikes as an up-yours to what we already know, or a departure to various progressive sounds we’ve heard of late. It’s amazing what this particular rhythm section has chosen to do, in the realm of deconstruction and then reassembling it all over again into a new whole. – Brian.

mp3: Ekra – A ‘Lil Called Strength

Men, the latest release by Ekra can be purchased through their bandcamp, or their website.


#285 astreal – june 12

I woke up this morning like any other day, a bit hazy, wondering what I was going to do, or what was in store for me. The nice thing about a Saturday without plans, is you can wake up whenever you want, so I walked to my mobile phone to check the time, but it was the date that surprised me more than how late it was.

June 12. What a pleasant surprise! I immediately pulled the song out from my collection, and the nostalgic waves of Astreal’s, Slowdive-inspired dreampop came washing over me. June 12 sets itself up as a pining song about love lost and hopefully found in the future, with a healthy dose of melancholic reverb, delay and Ginette’s signature whispers of fragile hearts. June 12 doesn’t particularly remind me of any particular day, but maybe for others, it’s the day you’ll always remember. – brian

mp3: astreal – june 12

#193 gemma hayes – out of our hands (feat. kevin shields)

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There are some songs, that unfairly get your attention because they name drop prominent guest stars in their sleeve notes. This one being Kevin Shields. Yes, THE Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine. I’d never heard of Gemma Hayes prior to noticing “Out Of Our Hands” feature Mr Shields on guitar. But I’m glad I caught wind of this ditty. You instantly notice the guitars, but for some strange ethereal reason, Ms Haye’s melancholy tinged vocals smoke their way as an equally formidable partner to Mr Shield’s neurotic and discordant playing. It’s the perfect recipe to wake up to on a rainy day, and then you realise, it’s out of our hands.. this time. – brian.

mp3: gemma hayes – out of our hands (feat. kevin shields)

For more information about Gemma Hayes, visit her Myspace.

#40 crystal stilts – crippled croon

no, this nothing to do with with crystal antlers (featured previously here) or crystal castles (shall i feature it here?). neither has it anything to do with devendra banhart‘s cripple crow, as much as it rolls off your tongue the same way. instead, crystal stilts is a brooklyn band with as much in common with joy division and jamc as it has with 60s garage, mixing gloriously lo-fi shoegazer moods and atmospheres with glimpses of sunshine in between. in “crippled croon”, you have that odd mix delivered to your doorstep, a haunting visitor who you’ll brood, laugh and reminisce with as if you were old friends, even if you can’t remember where that face came from. look out for their upcoming debut album alight of night this october on slumberland records.

mp3: crystal stilts – crippled croon

#09 deerhunter – these hands

the release date for deerhunter‘s follow-up album to last year’s commendable cryptograms has finally been announced to be 28 october on kranky and 4ad. bombastically titled microcastle, the album’s tracklisting has been confirmed as well, but interestingly leaves out “these hands”, which was leaked along with others in the album some months back. it’s a pity, though, as i really enjoyed that ambient, shoegaze track which seemed the logical progression from frontman bradford cox’s side project atlas sound. perhaps a loveless, understated beauty like this is best kept under wraps, or at least remain the little secret we share.

mp3: deerhunter – these hands

(edited: ok, my romantic little bubble has been burst. stereogum just pointed out that “these hands” has been renamed “neither of us, uncertainly” in the album. who would have guessed?)