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Category Archives: Shoegaze

Parsons Rocket Project – Parsons Rocket Project (11 August 2017)

Atlanta’s Parsons Rocket Project Unveil Video for ‘Solar Flare’ from Debut LP
Parsons Rocket Project have unveiled a new video for ‘Solar Flare’, the most upbeat track from their self-titled debut album, which released last month. Comprised of six tracks, this is a beautiful mixed bag of dream-gaze, indie rock and space rock, occupying a sweet spot between Blonde Redhead, My Bloody Valentine, Bowery Electric and Slowdive. This video follows the release of two videos for the exciting ‘Exit Launch’ and the serene ‘Interlude I’.
The new video was produced, shot and edited by Steven Quinn with mountain footage provided by Deep Water Surf and shuttle footage courtesy of Pexels & Creative Commons. “I wanted to merge the look and feel of early 90’s shoegaze  imagery with crisp natural elements.  The song was the absolute driving force of inspiration,” explains Steven Quinn.
Hailing from Atlanta, Parsons Rocket Project takes its name from American rocket propulsion engineer, chemist, and occultist Jack Parsons.  The band formed in 2015 when drummer, lyricist, and titular figurehead Jody Hasty started collaborating with bassist Paul Curry, guitarist Jeff Holt, and multi-instrumentalist producer/engineer Benjamin Price at Studilaroche in Atlanta. They were later joiined by K. Michelle Dubois on vocals.
The band laid down the tracks for this album in the very studio, where Benjamin Price has also worked on releases by Gang of Four and The Hives, among others. The album was mastered by Joe Lambert (Lou Reed, Animal Collective, The National, Hot Chip, Deerhunter, Panda Bear, Washed Out).
Parsons Rocket Project’s musical output is a mixture of ambient, dream pop, indie and space rock. They infuse this multi-colored trippery with the shimmering oceanic resonance of shoegaze and neo-psychedelia to round out this first release.
“We embraced the beautiful noise concept, but strayed from the classic shoegaze template that many bands adhere to. so there are some different feels and sounds to it like this fun disco thump thing with the synth bass on “exit launch.” that really pissed off some people in the studio, but it was the kick the track needed,” explains Paul Curry.
Parsons’ members cite a number of artist influences, including Flying Saucer Attack, Tape Cuts Tape, Spacemen 3, Eluvium, Swervedriver, Aix Em Klemm, William Basinski, and Clams Casino. However, their sound is closer to Slowdive, Spiritualized, Trespassers William, Mojave 3, and Mazzy Star.

This debut EP represents a significant moment in time for the band, who were challenged to overcome very real struggles involving drug abuse, a terrible automobile accident, and the low-level daily drama of domesticity. Some of the ambient and psychedelic exploration is rooted in real trauma – both physical and emotional – while some of it is celebratory in nature, rooted in the unique awareness of a temporary conscious being in our universe.

The eponymous ‘Parsons Rocket Project’ EP is out now and can be obtained at https://parsonsrocketproject.bandcamp.com/album/parsons-rocket-project

CREDITS
Jody Hasty – Lyrics, Synth, Electric Piano, Drums
Paul Curry – Bass
Benjamin Price – Guitar, Percussion, Midnight Editing
Jeff Holt – Guitar
K. Michelle Dubois – Vocals
Thad Goad – Logo and Sleeve Design
Anne Nicoletti, Jennifer Colson Demer, Michelle Barnette – Backing Vocals (Interlude II)
Produced and Engineered by Benjamin Price at StudilaRoche in Atlanta
Mastered by Joe Lambert, at Joe Lambert Mastering in New Jersey

TRACK LIST

1 Exit Launch
2 Interlude I
3 Burn
4 One Moor Call
5 Solar Flare
6 Interlude II
Keep up with Parsons Rocket Project

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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Alternative, Shoegaze

 

Ummagma – LCD (Label Obscura/Somewherecold Records – 22 September 2017)

Curve Mastermind Dean Garcia Remixes Ummagma for coming ‘LCD’ EP
Track revealed ahead of 2 classic Curve releases

CURVE’S Dean Garcia summons dark wonder in Ummagma ‘Back to You’ Mix

On the trail of the Ummagma ‘Lama’ remix created by Cocteau Twinsmulti-instrumentalist Robin Guthrie, Ummagma unveil a new deep dark delicious reworking of their track ‘Back to You’ by maverick electronic producer Dean Garcia, famed as half of seminal British indie/alt-rock band Curve with iconic vocalist Toni Halliday and half of SPC ECO with Rose Berlin.
This is one of two Ummagma tracks that Dean Garcia has re-envisioned for the band’s forthcoming ‘LCD’ EP, which follows up the ‘Winter Tale’ maxi-single with 4AD dreampop pioneer A.R.Kane, released earlier this year.
Ummagma is Shauna McLarnon, hailing from Canada, and Alexander Kretov, originally from Ukraine. Now based in Canada, Ummagma won the Alternative Eurovision on Amazing Radio, representing Ukraine among 23 countries.
Dean Garcia is renowned for sculpting sound to create alternate-universe pop hits that simultaneously straddle several genres. Apart from 15 years with Curve and a decade with SPC ECO, Garcia has also toured the world several times and recorded multiple albums with such established artists as Eurythmics, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Bryan Ferry, Sinead O’Connor and Ian Dury.
This collaboration between Ummagma and Dean Garcia is timely as, onAugust 25, Curve will marking their 25th anniversary by reissuing their first two albums – Doppelgänger’ and ‘Cuckoo’ – as two-CD deluxe expanded editions.
“When listening to the original versions of these two songs, I wanted to make something that was an extension of the psyche n space mood that to me is the heart n soul of Ummagma,” explains Dean Garcia.
“With the ‘LCD’ mix it was a matter of going into the original stems and extracting the most trippy n spacey elements and expanding them into a different zone. ‘Back To You’ was more about enhancing the mood of the song as it stood, but with view to bring out its dark and foreboding nature. I enjoyed working on both mixes for different reasons, the sense of space and oddness within both mixes is the thing that glues it all together. File under Dark Psyche”
Ummagma ‘LCD’ will be released on September 22 via Label Obscura(cassette) and Somewherecold Records (CD), and is already available for pre-order on the duo’s own Bandcamp.

Keep up with Ummagma 
Website | Facebook | BandcampTwitter | YouTube | Soundcloud |Spotify

Keep up with Label Obscura
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Keep up with Somewherecold Records
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Alternative, Shoegaze

 

Crash City Saints – Are You Free? (St. Marie Records 11th August 2017)

Crash City Saints are back with the long awaited follow up to Glow In The Dark Music, which inspired rave reviews back in 2010, with single “Out From The Storm” winning Song of the Day honors from KEXP.

Highlighted by the contribution of Cocteau Twins‘ Simon Raymonde, Are You Free? might be the best shoegaze-influenced album released all year, and yet it’s so much more than that.

It’s something of a shoegaze “Quadrophenia”, telling the autobiographical story of a teenager growing up in a dead-end small town in the early 90s.

Each song, other than being a lyrical outlook at teenage melancholia in a small-town wasteland, represents also an homage to the bands from that period: My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Galaxie 500, and the whole Madchester scene (Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, The Dylans, The High, Soup Dragons, Northside, Charlatans UK, Jesus Jones and EMF).

Music can “save your life” as The Smiths once put it, and those bands become actual torches to move forward in the darkness.

Every band has a history, and the history of Crash City Saints is a litany of missed connections and infidelity, a series of false starts and crushing disappointments.

In this sense, Crash City Saints are just like the rest of us—you’d think they were cursed if their music didn’t sound like it was touched by the gods. And yet they haven’t given up.

In that sense, they are special.

They’re from Kalamazoo, Michigan. This means they sing about going to 7-11, not going to brunch. Are You Free? gallops from strength to strength—songs of ice cream and car crashes, the end of school and the end of existence—before ending with the elegiac ‘Harbour Lights.’

Although anglophile enough to reference an iconic UK sitcom, the album title is American enough to wonder if freedom still exists.

Tracklist
1. Ice Cream Headache
2. Smile Lines
3. Weirdos Need Love Too
4. There’s No School Tomorrow
5. Use Once Then Dispose
6. Spirit Photography
7. Act 2
8. Dawn Of A Bright New Nothing
9. Annabella
10. It’s Not A Party Until Someone Breaks Your Heart
11. The Hour Of The Wolf

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Shoegaze

 

My Favourite Things – Fly I Will, Because I Can (14 July 2017)

Brooklyn’s My Favourite Things Announce New Album, Preview ‘A Little Closer’ Single

Brooklyn-based quartet My Favourite Things have announced the new album ‘Fly I Will, Because I Can’, which is slated for release on July 14, 2017, but are already teasing the first single ‘A Little Closer, loaded with shoegaze and dreampop goodness.
This is the third album from My Favourite Things, founded in Brooklyn by Dorothea Tachler (formerly of Igloo, The Swirlies, Alles Wie Gross). Fans of Beach House, Broadcast, dreampop and shoegaze should enjoy the album’s melancholic swaying, melody-rich offerings. This album should also appeal to lovers of acoustic folk music artists such as James Yorkston and Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
From a young age, her Korean/German/Croatian background has immersed her in a diversity of musical influences, which have shaped her. In 2009, she released “rarara” (Afterhours/Japan), followed by “Tomorrow’s Far Away” in 2013, featuring guest vocals from several friends and former band-mates, including Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna, Damon Tutunjan from The Swirlies, Daru Oda (Norah Jones), Sean Meadows (June of 4, Lungfish), and Doug Scharin (Codeine, HIM, Rex).
Once again, Dorothea wrote and produced all the songs with their many textures, owing to the use of multiple instruments, many of which she also played: violins, flutes and autoharps weave in and out of twinkling glockenspiels, vibraphones and intricate, sometimes shredding guitars, delivered on a solid bed of a grabbing bass and ripping drums, with Dorothea’s balmy voice hovering and twinkling atop.
When performing live, My Favourite Things appear in different formations, ranging from a solo act to a five-piece band, featuring prominent musicians from the buoyant New York scene: Yoshio “Tony” Kobayashi on drums, Yusuke Yamamoto on vibraphone and synthesizers, Michael Figgiani on bass, and various other talents.
The band has played many venues in the unforgiving NYC music circuit, transporting transfixed audiences from their chaotic built-up urban environments to a twilight world of their own favourite things. Last year, My Favourite Things also toured Germany, featuring Notwist frontman Markus Acher on drums, along with other talented and experienced musicians from Germany’s active band scene.
This album marks a new era for Dorothea, who uses songwriting as a medium to deal with difficult situations that life has dealt her. “This album has made me grow as a songwriter, producer and recording engineer. From a different perspective, this record was like my journal in a difficult time, ridden with a lot of changes: a lot of my friends and family had moved away, my relationship ended, I lost my apartment and had to move, and I became sober, which lead to losing specific social contacts I had until then, who I had thought of as friends – it was all hard, but rewarding in the end to go through this process,” explains Dorothea Tachler.
“Music was my anchor and my lighthouse in stormy and dark nights, and putting my inner turmoil into words really helped me process it better. It was kind of my metamorphosis, being disintegrated like a chrysalis, and being shaped into something new.”
LYRICS – A LITTLE CLOSER

Sweet and low and round it goes
Here it comes again
The new year is here
Round and round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
hold it tight, reset it right
nothing is gone
spindle up, spindle down
two Steps up, one back down
ocean waves wash me up
a little bit closer
Keep your eyes on the road
and we’ll take off for flight
Round it goes, lightning speed
Always shows the lines of our goals as in tomorrow
Wash me out
Move me further
On the shore I shall walk
Until tomorrow comes
Two Steps up, one back down
Ocean waves wash me up
A little bit closer
TRACKLIST
01  Sunlight
02  Everything Changes
03  Goodbye Again
04  Still Practicing
05  Some Things Stay the Same
06  Growing Pains
07  Nobody Knows
08  A Little Closer
09  Keep Letting Go
10  Spaceman
11  The Longest Winter
12  I Don’t Know
Keep up with My Favourite Things
 
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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Shoegaze

 

Clustersun – Surfacing To Breathe (Seahorse Recordings 19 May 2017)

Psych-Gaze Outfit Clustersun Announces Sophomore Album, Previews First Single ‘Raw Nerve’

Clustersun has announced the forthcoming release of their sophomore album ‘Surfacing To Breathe’ via Seahorse Recordings, but are already wetting appetites for psychedelic shoegaze offerings with their first single ‘Raw Nerve’. This first single shall be released on April 14with the full album following on May 19.

Three years after their debut album ‘Out Of Your Ego’, this 4-piece outfit from Catania (Siciliy) have raised the sonic bar, delivering a more complex and layered mixture of gazey reverberations, a massive walls of sound, psychedelic soundscapes and dreamy melodies.

Formed in 2013, Clustersun is Marco Chisari (vocals & bass), Mario Lo Faro (guitars), Piergiorgio Campione (synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals), and Andrea Conti (drums).

Featuring eight tracks, ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ was produced by Clustersun and Alessio Pindinelli (La Casa Al Mare). Combining shoegaze, psychedelia, post-punk and dreampop, the band’s signature cosmic/spacey dark vibe is still intact with lyrics invoking a dreamlike sense of melancholy and emotional fragility.

“The sophomore album is a very tough step for every band, especially if it comes after a strong debut, as our ‘Out of Your Ego’ was,” says Marco Chisari. “We are so much happy and proud of how ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ came out, mainly because we’ve managed to capture how the band sounds live.”

These new offerings are influenced by shoegaze giants Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualized, as well as Ringo Deathstarr, A Place To Bury Strangers, Cheatahs, Minor Victories, and Flyying Colours.

“This album is way fuzzier, more powerful, dynamic, edgy than the debut. Sounds were layered to build a dense, but articulated, sonic wall,” explains Mario Lo Faro. “Also we recorded the songs from ‘Surfacing to Breathe’ while we were touring so they retain that “live” vibe and power, while ‘Out of Your Ego’ had more ethereal and “light” tracks.

Clustersun released their first single ‘Be Vegetal’ on US indie label Custom Made Music and Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings, who released the band’s debut album ‘Out of Your Ego’. The band toured the Eastern USA in support of that album. They have contributed to compilations released via Patetico Records (USA), Raphalite Records UK), Gerpfast Kolektif (Indonesia), Shoegazin’ Your Waves (Italy), and most recently participated in Slowdive and Echo & The Bunnymen tributes issued by The Blog That Celebrates Itself.

Having been awarded the GLOBUS prize for Sicilian artistic excellence, Clustersun has established themselves as one of the most promising acts in the new international shoegaze scene.

“This is an honor and a responsibility, as Italy is delivering some of the most interesting music in the shoegaze-psych-dreampop-postpunk-wave sphere,” Piergiorgio Campione. “Being cited alongside bands that we love and admire is great motivation to constantly push forward our limits,” Andrea Conti.

The ‘Surfacing To Breathe’ LP releases on May 19 via Seahorse Recordings and will be available on vinyl, as well as CD and digital formats.

CREDITS
Marco Chisari (Vocals & Bass)
Mario Lo Faro (Guitars)
Piergiorgio Campione (Synthesizers, Keyboards & Backing Vocals)
Andrea Conti (Drums)
Produced by Clustersun and Alessio Pindinelli (La Casa Al Mare)
Recorded by Piergiorgio Campione at Studio12 in Catania
Mixed by Alessio Pindinelli and Fabio Galeone at Wax Recording Studio in Rome
Mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago
Artwork by Ilaria Facci in London
‘Raw Nerve’ video directed and edited by Visualazer
Actress: Mariaurelia Viscuso

TRACKLIST
1. Raw Nerve
2. Antagonize Me
3. Lonely Moon
4. The Whirling Dervish
5. Don’t Let The Weigh of Your Soul Drag You Down
6. Surfacing To Breathe
7. Emotional Painkiller
8. Event Horizon

Keep up with Clustersun
Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube | Vimeo | Instagram

Keep up with Seahorse Recordings

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | MySpace

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Alternative, Shoegaze

 

Phantogram and The Veldt Spring Eastern U.S. Tour, March 11-17 11 March 2017

Phantogram and The Veldt to Embark on East Coast Tour, March 11-17

Alternative pop icons Phantogram and shoegaze alternative soul pioneers The Veldt have announced they will play six exclusive U.S. East Coast cities before the former departs for their European tour. The duo will again return to the U.S.A. in mid-April for two separate appearances at Coachella.

Phantogram is touring in support of their recently released their third studio album ‘Three’ (Republic Records). Consisting of Josh Carter (guitars) and Sarah Barthel (keyboards), the duo formed in 2007. On ‘Three’, they take their sound in an enthralling, darker direction, adding new textures to their signature style. This album represents a new creative peak they’ve been building towards for nearly a decade. The latest chapter in the duo’s impressive ascent to the forefront of alternative pop, this iridescent record glows with warmth even as it explores the desolation of personal pain. This is also proof that nothing, at this point, can hold them back.

This six-date joint tour kicks off on Saturday, March 11 at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre, followed by dates in St. Paul, MN (Palace Theatre), Madison, WI (Orpheum Theater), Urbana, IL (Canopy Club), Cincinnati, OH (Bogart’s), and Atlanta, GA (The Tabernacle).

The Veldt are touring in support of their EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation’ the band’s first new recording in fifteen years, which will be released worldwide on June 2 via Schoolkids Records, home to artists such as Adam Franklin & Swervedriver, Tommy Keene and Bettie Serveert with a history of collaboration with artists such as New Model Army, Daniel Lanois and Emm Gryner.

The Veldt formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh amongst the royalty of the legendary North Carolina music scene, including bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, The Connells, Dillon Fence, The dBs, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Ryan Adams. Pitchfork recently included their album ‘Afrodisiac’ in the top 50 shoegaze albums eve released. Today their musical output is in the same ballpark as A.R.Kane, Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack, and Jesus & Mary Chain.

Signed to Capitol Records in 1989 and eventually Mercury Records, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. The soon found themselves in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, touring America with Cocteau Twins and the UK with The Jesus and Mary Chain and working with leading producers Lincoln Fong of Moose on their debut album ‘Marigolds’ and Ray Schulman (Bjork, Sugarcubes, The Sundays) on ‘Afrodisiac’. The Veldt were a sensation from the start and part of a movement of innovators, who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.

The Veldt have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and most recently with A.R.Kane, and have shared the stage with the likes of The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis and Living Colour.

The band reformed in 2016 and their new EP started to make the rounds with a 2016 vinyl release via Manchester’s Leonard Skully Records. Their return was met with incredible enthusiasm and significant press attention, including from The Guardian (UK), who say “the new songs invite paradoxical praise: serenely assaultive and vertiginously soothing.” In the past year, the band did a mini-tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, embarked on two Canadian tours, toured and played multiple festivals across Europe.

TOUR DATES
Saturday, March 11:  Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
Sunday, March 12:  St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre
Monday, March 13:  Madison, WI – Orpheum Theatre
Tuesday, March 14:  Urbana, IL – Canopy Club
Thursday, March 16:  Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Friday, March 17:  Atlanta GA – The Tabernacle

 

The Veldt – In a Quiet Room (Leonard Skully Records 9 December 2016)

Shoegaze Pioneers The Veldt Release ‘In a Quiet Room’ with New Video from Tokyo

NYC-Raleigh four-piece The Veldt have released a new video for ‘In a Quiet Room’, created by Tokyo-based videographer Toshikazu Kaneiwa. This track comes from their five-track EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’, released via Manchester label Leonard Skully Records.

With 4AD legendary recording artist A.R.Kane contributing production on this EP, it effectively merges the alternative bliss rock sound The Veldt has become known for with the hallmark dreamy electronica that led to A.R.Kane becoming famed as ‘father of dreampop’. These tracks combine intense energy, layers of atmosphere and guitar with beautiful falsetto vocals.

The Veldt are identical twins Daniel (guitar, vocals) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass) and Marvin Levi (drums).  Upon signing to Capitol Records in 1989, they recorded a debut album with Cocteau Twins dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, which was never released, and then recorded a new once, called ‘Marigolds’, with Lincoln Fong (Moose).

After switching labels, Mercury Records released ‘Afrodisiac’ in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes), before changing their name to Apollo Heights (they have since changed it back to The Veldt). Earlier this month, Pitchfork included this album in their top 50 shoegaze albums of all time, calling this “the great lost American shoegaze classic, with influences from Prince to Cocteau Twins to A.R. Kane to the Jesus and Mary Chain (who contributed a remix) fused into something beautiful and unique”.

Video producer Toshikazu Kaneiwa is an indie filmmaker hailing from Tokyo, Japan. A long-time friend of the band, their support for each other’s art has been mutually complementary. Veldt bassist Hayato Nakao composed music for some of Toshikazu’s short films, including “Believe” and “Surface”, while he would offer his skills in photography and creating videos for the band (then Apollo Heights). “They guided my soul when I was in NYC in 2001-2014,” explains Toshikazu.

“I was truly inspired when I heard ‘In a Quiet Room’. This sound is so beautiful and sad, and I felt compelled to do the visual work for this song,” explains Toshikazu Kaneiwa. “At the same time, I met k.a.n.a., who is an artist with so much talent – she can dance, act, paint and sing… and I got an idea for the video and I told her my directional plan. She said yes. I really appreciate that she brought a very strong performance into this video.”

The Veldt were part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired many alternative artists, including TV On the Radio, and led to them working together. They’ve also collaborated with Mos Defand Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have toured and played with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour, and most recently with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’ EP marks the band’s re-emergence after a notable hiatus, going down in history as one of the most memorable shoegaze comebacks in 2016, as demonstrated by their recent North American and European tours. In early 2017, The Veldt will release new music through SonaBLAST! Records. The new EP is available on vinyl from Manchester-based Leonard Skully Records and on CD and digitally at http://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com.

Keep up with The Veldt 
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Reverbnation | Bandcamp | YouTube

Keep up with Leonard Skully Records 
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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Shoegaze