Shoegazing is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal-sounding mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. Most bands drew from the music of My Bloody Valentine as a template for the genre.
About Shoegazing in brief
Shoegazing is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal-sounding mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. Most bands drew from the music of My Bloody Valentine as a template for the genre. The term originated in a concert review in Sounds for the newly formed band Moose in which singer Russell Yates read lyrics taped to the floor throughout the gig. In the early 1990s, shoegazing groups were pushed aside by the American grunge movement and early Britpop acts such as Suede, forcing the relatively unknown bands to break up or reinvent their style altogether. The genre has often been used interchangeably with dream pop, but shoegaze typically uses a harsher, louder and more distorted sound. Dream pop artists have taken influence from shoegazed artists, and vice versa, over the years. The most commonly cited precursors to shoegazes are The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Bloody Valentine, and My Loener, although My Bloody Loener has been cited as a precursor to shoEGaze as well, although some claim that they could do without the term.
It was also considered pejorative, especially by a part of the English weekly music press who considered the movement as ineffectual, and it was disliked by many of the groups it purported to describe. According to some, the term was used to describe dream pop bands. The band Slowdive’s Simon Scott found the term relevant: I always thought Robert Smith, when he was in Siouxsie and the Banshees playing guitar, was the coolest as he just stood there and let the music flood out. I am glad we were static and concentrated on playing well. Now it is a positive 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. I’m glad we weren’t shoegazers, we were just normal people, as a band who wanted their fans to think they could think that too too. In the 2000s, there was renewed interest in the genre among \”Nu gaze\” bands. The term was picked up by NME, who used it as a reference to the tendency of the bands’ guitarists to stare at their feet—or their effects pedals—while playing, seemingly deep in concentration.