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A Shoreline Dream Recollects Memories Of Shoegazing’s Past

The New Now

For those not in the know, shoegaze is a sub-genre of alternative rock marked by slow, hypnotic, psychedelic music, featuring droning guitars and vocals, played by blokes who looked as if they are gazing at their shoes. Although these blokes were most likely looking at their distortion pedals, not their shoes, distortion-pedal gazers didn't quite have a ring to it, so shoegazers it was. The initial movement, which began in the late '80s in the U.K., included such acts as My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride, and Slowdive.

While some of those bands enjoyed moderate success, shoegaze was generally thought to be nothing more than a cult movement. Yet it never quite went away and has seemingly grown in influence and importance over the years as evidence of the buzz surrounding My Bloody Valentine's reunion last year and its forthcoming appearance at Coachella.

Yet shoegaze isn't just a retro thing. There are plenty of relatively new bands experimenting with the sound, including Los Angeles' Run Run Run and A Shoreline Dream, the Denver combo that inspired this blog. Recollections Of Memory, the band's second album, was just released on its own Latenight Weeknight Records. Check out this video snippet of "Hypermode," a track from the new album.

A Shoreline Dream principle singer/guitarist Ryan Policky has been recording since the dawn of the decade, first in Pure Drama and later in Drop The Fear. However it wasn't until Policky took on lead vocals and recruited guitarist Erik Jeffries and bassist Enoc Torraca that he truly hit his stride.

Avoiding The Consequences, the band's full-length debut, was released in September 2006 and received rave reviews. For its latest effort, Recollections Of Memory, drummer Sean Merrell joined the fold. The album was recorded during a particularly life-changing period for the band. Jeffries had a son and one of Policky's closest friends passed away while he was in the final stages of mixing the album.

"Recollections Of Memory is quite literally what you'd think it stands for," Policky has explained. "As we grow older we recollect that much more. We reach out to what we once had or what we once lost, and analyze it. We faintly can see what life is all about, but yet we really have no idea. It's chaotic, but we don't want to let go, no matter what happens."

For its latest effort, ASD collaborated with Ulrich Schnauss, a German-born producer/artist, who has remixed tracks for Depeche Mode and Sia. Also lending a hand on Recollections Of A Memory was Kramer, not the character played by Michael Richards on Seinfeld, but the producer/musician known for his work with Galaxie 500, Low, and Urge Overkill, as well as for founding the Shimmy Disc label.

Yet, A Shoreline Dream isn't just a studio creation. As these clips below prove, the band can definitely bring it live. Watch them and see if you can catch the band's members gazing at their shoes. Do you think ASD is in the same league as such great shoegaze bands as My Bloody Valentine and Lush or just a pleasant distraction?

"Projections" LIVE at The Parish Room - a shoreline dream from Latenight Weeknight on Vimeo.

"neverChanger" LIVE - a shoreline dream & Ulrich Schnauss from Latenight Weeknight on Vimeo.

"Love is a Ghost in America" - LIVE at The Parish Room in Austin from Latenight Weeknight on Vimeo.

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