In November of 2014, I went to my first The 1975 concert, alone. Completely by myself. Here I am, a fresh 18 year old, first year from CSUF, originally from a small, central Californian city, wandering the streets of West Hollywood at night, by myself. After the concert, which I highly recommend to go to a concert by yourself if you’re old enough to, I took an Uber back to my dorm (Yikes, was it $$$). My Uber driver was a chill, Southern Californian, college graduate. The conversation was obviously going to be about the concert that I had just concluded. He hadn’t heard of The 1975, by this time they only had one song that occasionally played on the radio, “Chocolate,” so I didn’t blame him. When he asked about what kind of music they played, I could only describe them as indie rock and alternative pop-rock.
After this wonderful, half an hour music talk with this driver, I actually took it upon myself to see this current revolution of the subgenres. That’s when I discovered, via Wikipedia, the subgenre of SHOEGAZING. And honestly, it’s one of the most appealing-sounding, aestheticly pleasing subgenres that I have ever heard of.
You might be wondering to yourself: This has to be a gimmick? But fear not my fellow Millenniac. Shoegazing has been a growing subgenre since the 1980’s. The sound consists of ethereal musical components including guitar distortions, feedback, and obscured vocals to poop out an indistinguishable mixture of dreamy, sappy, grunge music. (If you hadn’t had a taste of this beautiful dream, I recommend, The 1975’s romantic, 6 and half minute song, “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.” And, the iconic, shoegazing pioneer 1991 song, “Soon” by My Bloody Valentine).
So how does this fit in to the now generation? First of all, this generation is obsessed with cultivating one’s aesthetic. I should know, I’m part of this generation, and I 100% admit that. The creation of our own unique atmosphere puts us in a place that we feel is no one elses, but clearly we are all pining over the same vibe: one that can take us somewhere, anywhere. Shoegazing is more like background music; a soundtrack to our dreams. This subgenre easily takes the listener to an ascending, other wordly dimension. Instead of focusing on the lyrics, writers of shoegazing, whole heartedly place their efforts into creating the music by over lapping guitar glides, distorting perfect riffs, and tweaking the last ring to loop over and over again. Unlike, EDM or hip hop, whoms rhythm can easily control the movements of bodies, Shoegazing can calmy overtake one’s mind. That’s the beauty of it.