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The year in shoegaze and dream pop reviewed; with over 100 albums and songs listed (the playlist runs over 8 hours if you stick with it). This one’s a little out of control! It’s been months in the making so I hope you find something to like. 2017 has been an incredibly strong year for shoegaze fans, there’s so much to dig through. The music below covers a range of reverb-centric genres: jangle pop; psych; noise rock; shoegaze; ambient; dream pop, and so forth. There’s a genre column on the album list to assist the purists, which you can sort yourself. It’s been organised by release date but I’m going to chat through a smaller list of faves.

The rock gods have been kind. The reformation of classic acts continued in 2017 (following Lush last year) we had Slowdive’s first new record in 22 years! The album has been critically praised, so have their live shows. In 2018 the quintet will tour Australia for the first time. Plus Slowdive’s Simon Scott has already confirmed that the band is hitting the studio next year, so a follow up release shouldn’t be another 20 years off. Speaking of, Ride also released their first new album in a few decades; ‘Weather Diaries’. The British rock legends teamed up with Erol Alkan and Alan Moulder (Nowhere/Going Blank Again) for the record. A welcome return. Not to forget fellow shoegaze luminaries Secret Shine who delivered a new long player, ‘There Is Only Now’. In the new year we can also finally get our hands on the vinyl remasters of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Isn’t Anything’ and ‘Loveless’. Check out the Rolling Stone interview if you missed it, it’s an interesting read. According to Kevin, a new MBV LP may land mid-2018. Or mid-2028. One of the two. Maybe.

In terms of must-listen shoegaze albums, here are a handful…. First up, Pia Fraus’ decade long return with ‘Field Ceremony’. Everything Seksound puts out is quality and this record is flawless. The Estonian veterans make it sound easy. Another must is Airiel’s ‘Molten Young Lovers’ (released on Shelflife this October). Airiel’s second full length was worth the wait, and it was a long one. It’s dreamy, loud and danceable all at once. Don’t miss it. Brisbane-based shoegazers Deafcult delivered their debut album ‘Auras’ and it has barely left my record player. After their turbo-charged 2015 EP I wasn’t sure which direction they’d go. ‘Auras’ has depth and diversity. Love it. Fellow Aussie noise-makers Miniatures gave us another top shelf debut, ‘Jessamines’ (thanks to Saint Marie). The Kiwi ex-pats worked with producer Matthew Hosking to craft a layered gem. They’ve been creating amazing tunes since 2012 and its great to have a full length from them.

Colorado’s Gleemer gave us the dreamy ‘Anymore’ (via Other People Records). The dense and melodic LP is a DIY effort with plenty of punch. Gleemer are currently on tour throughout the U.S with Hundredth and Tennis System. Meanwhile Panda Riot returned with fresh tunes in 2017, delivering ‘Infinity Maps’ which was four years in the making. The LP is a worthy follow-up to 2013’s ‘Northern Automatic Music’ and weighs in with a hefty 18 songs. In June Leeds shoegazers Colour Of Spring delivered their self-titled EP, another stellar release. Their combination of fuzz and melody has attracted the attention of NME, Clash and The Line Of Best Fit. Brooklyn foursome Infinity Girl released their third full length ‘Somewhere Nice, Someday’ which is an easily digestible swan song. The band announced the record while telling fans it would be their last. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Nebraska noisemakers See Through Dresses released their dreamy LP ‘Horse Of The Other World’ this year (through Tiny Engines). Since their debut LP in 2014 the band have toured through the U.S., Canada and Europe. Check them out if you haven’t already. Monster Movie returned in 2017, unleashing their first new material in seven years! The supergroup features Sean Hewson, Christian Savill (of Slowdive), James Harrison (Air Formation) and also Slowdive bassist Nick Chaplin. Ryan Graveface produced the record and its a fan favourite already. Meanwhile Brazil’s Devilish Dear released an equally explosive record called ‘These Sunny Days’. This one could easily fly under the radar, so don’t let it! L.A.’s Froth is another must. The quartet’s long player ‘Outside (briefly)’ isn’t a straight-up shoegaze record but it delivers great guitar-driven tunes. It’s an unpredictable and dynamic listen. To wrap up the 2017 shoegaze releases of note, do not miss the short but awesome split release by Kindling and Kestrels. It’s got two originals and two covers (of The Replacements and My Bloody Valentine). All rad. Lovely work Noyes Records! You’ll find those tracks in the playlist below.

Dream Pop. This year there was an eclectic crop. However, You’ll Never Get To Heaven immediately stands out. The Canadian duo released ‘Images’ through Yellow K Records. It just oozes class. This is highbrow dream pop done right! Excellent songwriting. The new album from London’s Plastic Flowers is also impressive. ‘Absent Forever’ marks his third LP, an analog recording with DIY charm. It was crafted while studying for a PhD… so kudos! In October, Run For Cover Records gave us the brilliant ‘III’ from Sweden’s Makthaverskan. For their third album the five-piece mellowed out (just a little) so their brand of post-punk has a dreamier sheen. I love it. Maja Milner’s vocals are packed with character.

Jangle Pop. Lo-fi/bedroom pop. This year we didn’t have a DIIV album to wade through. Maybe next year. BUT… May 5 was huge. Surely it’s not a coincidence that Day Wave, Hazel English, Hoops and Fazerdaze all released their twangy gems on the same day? There must have been a conference call! Anyways, those four albums typify a solid year for lovers of lo-fi melodies. Not to forget the brilliant EP from Surf Rock Is Dead. The Brooklyn-based duo (who hail from Melbourne and Chicago) gave us ‘We Have No Friends?’ It’s a genre-blending collection that does everything right. Can’t wait for a full length. Grab the EP via Native Sound. In fact, Native Sound is a label that deserves a standing ovation for releasing a tidal wave of great tunes this year. Thanks Julio! So that’s it, a landmark year. Perhaps the greatest batch of tunes since Sounds Better With Reverb started posting back in 2011.

NB: Please share your picks and/or notable omissions in the comments (click through the swirling logo, comments are in the footer). A few tunes have been omitted from the playlist because they are not available on Soundcloud. Sad! Next year this list will probably be on Spotify, because after many years in the desert they are now including plenty of indies. Cheers!

Shoegaze And Dream Pop Songs Of 2017

Notable Shoegaze And Dream Pop Albums Of 2017 (not all of ’em!)

RELEASE DATEARTWORKARTISTALBUMGENRE
12/15/2017 Eyes Behind The VeilGrow [EP]Ambient/Dream Pop
12/01/2017 Mark PetersInnerlandInstrumental/Dream Pop
12/01/2017 MollyGlimpse [EP]Post-Rock/Shoegaze
11/28/2017 All Sparks Burn OutSunspots [EP]Shoegaze
11/24/2017 Death Of LoversAcrobatNew Wave/Dream Pop
11/24/2017 Sound And FurySproutRock/Shoegaze
11/20/2017 The TelescopesStone TapeNoise/Drone
11/17/2017 GleemerAnymoreRock/Shoegaze
11/15/2017 AerofallFormsShoegaze
11/10/2017 KindlingHushRock/Shoegaze
11/10/2017 LullSea Change [EP]Rock/Shoegaze
11/10/2017 Plastic FlowersAbsent ForeverDream Pop/Shoegaze
10/31/2017 Silver LizI Can Feel The WeightDream Pop/Shoegaze
10/27/2017 GlaareTo Deaf And DayDream Pop
10/23/2017 Brief CandlesRetreaterRock/Shoegaze
10/20/2017 Lost FilmBroken SpectreIndie/Jangle Pop
10/20/2017 MakthaverskanIllDream Pop/Post Punk
10/16/2017 Pia FrausField CeremonyDream Pop/Shoegaze
10/13/2017 AirielMolten Young LoversShoegaze/Dream Pop
10/13/2017 Dead Leaf EchoBeyond​.​DesireShoegaze/Dream Pop
10/13/2017 The Luxembourg SignalBlue FieldRock/Shoegaze
10/06/2017 MiniaturesJessaminesShoegaze
10/06/2017 Sound Of CeresThe TwinDream Pop/Electronic
10/06/2017 Surf Rock Is DeadWe Have No Friends? [EP]Dream Pop/Jangle Pop
10/06/2017 To The Wedding
Here And Now / Silver Currents Rock/Dream Pop
09/29/2017 Fever DreamSquidShoegaze
09/29/2017 Pure Phase Ensemble 6 Feat. Anton NewcombeLive At SpaceFest!Shoegaze/Psych Rock
09/26/2017The MorelingsSame CenturyDream Pop/Psych
09/22/2017 BeliefsHabitatDream Pop/Electronic
09/22/2017 Misty CoastMisty CoastPsych Pop/Dream Pop
09/22/2017 When The Sun HitsImmersed Within Your Eyes [EP]Shoegaze
09/15/2017 Hope Sandoval & The Warm InventionsSon Of A Lady [EP]Dream Pop
09/15/2017 LacingBummerShoegaze
09/15/2017 Palm HazeTangy DreamRock/Shoegaze
09/08/2017 NonconnahThe Gloom & The GlowingAmbient/Shoegaze
09/01/2017 The Stargazer LiliesLostShoegaze/Psych
08/25/2017 WidowspeakExpect The BestDream Pop/Indie
08/22/2017 IrisIris [EP]Shoegaze
08/22/2017 SPC ECOCalmShoegaze/Rock
08/18/2017 CloakroomTime WellShoegaze/Doom
08/11/2017 FOREVRClassics/Death Is A MiracleShoegaze/Electronic
08/11/2017 Frankie RoseCage TropicalIndie/Dream Pop
08/08/2017 BoysDreamland [EP]Dream Pop/Jangle Pop
08/08/2017 Infinity GirlSomewhere Nice, SomedayRock/Shoegaze
08/03/2017 The Sorry ShopSoftspokenShoegaze
07/20/2017 FoliageSilenceDream Pop/Jangle Pop
07/14/2017 My Favourite ThingsFly I Will, Because I Can Dream Pop/Indie
07/14/2017 See Through DressesHorse Of The Other WorldDream Pop/Shoegaze
07/07/2017 Star TropicsLost WorldDream Pop/Jangle Pop
07/07/2017 The TelescopesAs Light ReturnNoise/Drone
07/04/2017 SlowlyUnfoldShoegaze
06/30/2017 Au.RaCultivationsDream Pop/Indie
06/30/2017 BlankenbergeRadiogazeShoegaze/Dream Pop
06/30/2017 DeafcultAurasShoegaze
06/23/2017 Colour Of SpringColour Of Spring [EP]Shoegaze
06/16/2017 MorelsDriftShoegaze/Psych
06/16/2017 Jefre Cantu-LedesmaOn The Echoing GreenExperimental/Shoegaze
06/16/2017 RideWeather DiariesRock/Shoegaze
06/13/2017 BellavistaSun & SkywayShoegaze/Psych Rock
06/12/2017 HundredthRareShoegaze/Post hardcore
06/09/2017 Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After SexIndie/Dream Pop
06/09/2017 Panda RiotInfinity MapsShoegaze/Dream Pop
06/08/2017 We. the pigsDK48 EP2 [EP]Shoegaze/Dream Pop
06/02/2017 Sleep Party PeopleLingeringPsych/Dream Pop
06/02/2017 ReighnbeauHide [EP]Electronic/Shoegaze
06/02/2017 Ulrika SpacekModern English DecorationRock/Shoegaze
06/02/2017 The VeldtThe Shocking Fuzz... [EP - World Release]Dream Pop/Electronic
06/01/2017 SchonwaldNight IdyllColdwave/Dream Pop
05/19/2017 Is BlissThe Honeycomb Explosion [EP]Psych Rock/Shoegaze
05/12/2017 OverlakeFallRock/Shoegaze
05/05/2017 Day WaveThe Days We HadIndie/Jangle Pop
05/05/2017 FazerdazeMorningsideIndie/Jangle Pop
05/05/2017 Hazel EnglishJust Give In / Never Going Home [Double EP]Indie/Jangle Pop
05/05/2017 HoopsRoutinesLo-fi/Jangle/Dream Pop
05/05/2017 SlowdiveSlowdiveDream Pop/Shoegaze
04/28/2017 AlterPendulumShoegaze/Post-Rock
04/28/2017 WeedBorn Wrong LoveRock/Noise Rock
04/28/2017 SheerPsychic Quarry [EP]Rock/Shoegaze
04/28/2017 Soon, She SaidThe First Casualty...Rock/Shoegaze
04/24/2017 93millionmilesfromthesunThe Lonely Sea & The SkyShoegaze/Psych
04/20/2017 Kindling / KestrelsSplit [EP]Shoegaze
04/14/2017 PercolatorSestraRock/Shoegaze
04/14/2017 PlazaWernotplaza [EP]Rock/Shoegaze
04/12/2017 DIV I DEDTransformationDream Pop/Shoegaze
04/07/2017 Tashaki MiyakiThe DreamIndie/Dream Pop
03/31/2017 Monster MovieKeep The Voices DistantRock/Shoegaze
03/29/2017 The Age of Colored LizardsAnother Day [EP]Shoegaze/Rock
03/24/2017 Jesus and Mary ChainDamage & JoyRock/Indie
03/24/2017 Trementina810Indie/Dream Pop
03/24/2017 You'll Never Get To HeavenImagesAmbient/Dream Pop
03/23/2017 SeasurferUnder The Milkyway​.​.​. Who Cares?Shoegaze/Dream Pop
03/17/2017 OrchinOrchin [EP]Shoegaze/Dream Pop
03/16/2017 Secret ShineThere Is Only NowShoegaze/Rock
03/10/2017 SpectresConditionNoise/Experimental
03/03/2017 Life On VenusEncountersShoegaze
02/24/2017 FrothOutside (briefly)Rock/Shoegaze
02/24/2017 Funeral AdvantagePlease Help Me [EP]Jangle Pop/Indie
02/24/2017 KindlingNo Generation [EP]Rock/Shoegaze
02/22/2017 VennVenn [EP]New Wave/Shoegaze
02/10/2017 Letting Up Despite Great FaultsAlexander Devotion [EP]Indie/Dream Pop
02/10/2017 SPC ECOUnder My Skin [EP]Electronic/Dream Pop
01/31/2017 Soft LashesHypersensualityShoegaze/Dream Pop
01/27/2017 Devilish DearThese Sunny DaysRock/Shoegaze
01/23/2017 The Cherry WaveShimaruPost Punk/Noise Rock
01/21/2017 AstrealLightRock/Shoegaze
01/20/2017 Drab MajestyThe DemonstrationSynth Pop/Shoegaze
01/20/2017 Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas MunkPassageElectronic/Ambient
01/20/2017 No SunIf OnlyShoegaze/Post hardcore
01/13/2017 BlushingTether [EP]Dream Pop
01/06/2017 Cherry CrushTurning [EP]Rock/Shoegaze
01/03/2017 Lazy LegsChain Of PinkShoegaze

For more shoegaze and dream pop albums and songs of 2017 visit the blog page.

16 Responses

  1. Dane

    You missed the brilliant debut albums from Gingerlys and Distant Creatures.

    Reply
  2. AZ

    Cigarettes After Sex in the tracklist? Shoegaze band? Really?
    Say hello to your mom then.

    Reply
      • Big Kev

        Oooh Az you just got torched buddy. FEEL THE BURN!

  3. PMichael Flinn

    Whimsical- “Sleep To Dream” LP. A very similar story to Slowdive, this band. I know the lead singer/lyricist Krissy Vanderwoude and this album had lain dormant for approximately 14 years. It was finally finished early this year and they played together live again for the first time in as long at the Kalamashoegazer XII on Nov 4. I got to witness this and for only rehearsing for a day, they were amazing! The track “Flutter Echo” gets my #1 vote from this awesome release!

    Reply
  4. Cayla Loy

    That Bethany Curve album was released in 1995 according to Spotify!

    Reply

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