Today we share the best 100 Shoegaze tracks out of the hundreds we featured in 2019 in our New Music Playlist on Spotify that also features Post Punk Darkwave/Coldwave & Post Rock. Having shared those best of lists last week, Shoegaze is the last to surface. As the playlist demonstrates the niche genre continues to produce the goods and its rusted on devotees are more galvanised to it than ever. Signature slow burns, reverb surges, blasts of delay, bouts of insistent distortion & fuzz and pitchshifting tremolo all feature here feeding outwardly expressions of sentiment and broodingly insular introspection.
Congratulations to English trailblazers Ride for being our best track of 2019. The measured allure of the slowly unfolding ‘In This Room’, the closing track from their sixth studio album This Is Not A Safe Place sports both classic and modern characteristics musically and conceptually leaving a lasting impression long after its eight minute plus playing time has elapsed. It’s so pleasing to witness a 25+ year old band make music that’s as good and fresh as their original material. While a No. 1 track by one of genre’s pioneer bands may be indicative of a predictable list, we reckon the top 10 alone blows that idea out of the water.
At 2 is the deftly unadulterated mix of doom-filled beauty ’23’ from Boston’s blistering genre-defiers Elizabeth Colour Wheel followed at 3 by the woozy and warped fixations of Los Angeles outfit Froth with ‘Local Department’. At 4 is the uncharacteristically rashy and lo-fi distortion of ‘Distance Dealer’ is by experimental Montreal veterans Fly Pan Am at 4 while the haunting depth and searching width of the enveloping ‘The Light’ from Helsinki duo Cats of Transnistria came in at 5. Pesaro trio Be Forest are at 6 with the omnipresence of ‘Gemini’, Montreal duo Murmure at 7 with the memorably original ‘La Bataille’, the harmonic beauty of the American/Australian collaboration between New York City’s Warm and Adelaide’s Blush Response with the slow and atmospheric ‘Moonweed’ the infectious sung-in-French ‘L’orpheline De Mère’ from Minneapolis duo Typsy Panthre at 9 with the Los Angeles based Tennis System rounding out the 10 with the densely emotional ‘Turn’.
Special mentions to bands in the Top 20 — Shiv Mehra’s Heaven’s Club, Singapore’s Stellarium, Brisbane’s Sweater Curse, Wollongong trio Miners, Brooklyn’s DIIV, Iceland’s Singapore Sling, Philadelphia’s Dreamswell, Argentinian outfit from Santa Fe Anajunno, Boston outfit Magic Shoppe and Brooklyn outfit Tara.