20 of the Best Shoegaze Songs of All Time
Shoegaze is a subgenre of indie rock that emerged in the late 1980s. It’s characterized by its ethereal soundscapes and dreamy, atmospheric melodies. The genre got its name for the use of heavy effects of guitar pedals, causing performers to gaze at their shoes more often.
In this article, I’ll be taking a look at my list of 20 of the best shoegaze songs ever made. These are in no particular order, but they’re all essential listening for any fan of the genre.
1. “When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine
First on the list is the lead single from My Bloody Valentine’s classic 1991 album “Loveless”. “When You Sleep” is a perfect example of what shoegaze is all about. Lush, dreamy guitars and ethereal vocals combine to create a beautiful track. You can still stream it on all music platforms out there.
2. “40 Days” by Slowdive
The next song is “40 Days” by Slowdive. This band is often credited with helping to pioneer the shoegaze sound. “40 Days” is taken from their 1993 album “Souvlaki”. It’s about as dreamy as it gets, with gorgeous guitars and vocals that will transport you to another place.
3. “Pearl” by Chapterhouse
Chapterhouse’s “Pearl” is another early example of shoegaze. This track was released in 1991 and is taken from their classic album “Whirlpool”. It’s a perfect example of the genre, with its layers of distorted guitars. You can still find it on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
4. “Crazy For You(Alternative Version)” by Slowdive
The next song is the Alternative Version of “Crazy For You” by Slowdive. The Alternative Version was included as a bonus track on the 1995 reissue of the album “Pygmalion”. If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll definitely appreciate this version of the song.
5. “When the Sun Hits” by Slowdive
“When the Sun Hits” is the lead single from Slowdive’s second album, “Souvlaki”. The song was released in 1993 and is considered the band’s most popular track with over 3 million views on Youtube. With its catchy melody and hazy sound, “When the Sun Hits” is undoubtedly one of the best shoegaze songs out there.
6. “Do You Remember?” by Moose
Next on the list is “Do You Remember?” by Moose. This song is taken from the band’s album, Sonny of Sam. “Do You Remember?” was released in 1991 and is one of the earliest examples of shoegaze music. The song features a wall of sound with feedback-drenched guitars and ethereal vocals.
7. “Sometimes” by My Bloody Valentine
Bloody Valentine’s “Sometimes” is probably one of the most iconic shoegaze songs ever. It’s a perfect example of the genre’s signature sound: ethereal and atmospheric, with layers of distorted guitars and heavily processed vocals. You can find it on the band’s “Loveless” album.
8. “Boys Turn Into Girls (Initiation Rites)” by A Sunny Day In Glasgow
This next song is a bit of a departure from the dreamy shoegaze sound we’ve been discussing so far. “Boys Turn Into Girls” by A Sunny Day In Glasgow is a lot more angular and abrasive, with a propulsive drumbeat driving the song forward. It was released in 2014 as part of the “Sea When Absent” album.
9. “Cherry-coloured Funk” by Cocteau Twins
From their “Heaven or Las Vegas” album, “Cherry-coloured Funk” by Cocteau Twins is another perfect example of the band’s ethereal sound. It’s a bit more subdued than some of their other songs but no less beautiful. It was released in 1990 and has amassed over a million views on Youtube.
10. “Horror Head” by Curve
Next on the list is a song by the UK shoegaze band Curve. “Horror Head” is a bit more upbeat than some of the other songs on this list, with a catchy melody and distorted guitars. It was released in 1992 as part of the band’s album “Doppelgänger”. If you’re a fan of shoegaze, this is one song you shouldn’t miss.
11. “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Just Like Honey” is a song by the Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s one of the band’s most well-known songs, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a perfect example of shoegaze’s combination of sweet melodies and noisy but melodious guitars. You can find it on the band’s 1985 “Psychocandy” album.
12. “Hands” by Swervedriver
Swervedriver is an English rock band formed in Oxford in 1989. The group was associated with the shoegaze and neo-psychedelic movements. Their sound is marked by heavy use of distortion, reverb, and feedback. “Hands” is a song from the band’s 1991 album “Raise”.
13. “Duress” by Swervedriver
The next song is also by Swervedriver. The group was associated with the shoegaze and space rock movements. They are considered a major influence on the development of both genres. “Duress” is a song from the band’s album “Mezcal Head”.
14. “Heavenly Bodies” by Tamaryn
“Heavenly Bodies” is a song by American singer-songwriter Tamaryn. The song is from her album “Tender New Signs”, which was released in 2012. It now has over 300k views on Youtube.
15. “Helicon 1” by Mogwai
Mogwai’s “Helicon 1” is a song from the band’s 1997 album “Ten Rapid”. The song was Mogwai’s first single and is considered one of their signature songs. It was featured in various television shows and movies, such as “Wind Sprints” and “The Shield”. This song is also available for streaming on all music platforms.
16. “Junebouvier” by Whirr
The next song is “Junebouvier” by the American shoegaze band Whirr. The song is from the band’s album “Pipe Dreams”, which was released in 2012. It features heavy use of distortion and feedback, which are characteristic of the shoegaze genre. It’s not as popular as the other songs on the list but it’s still a great track.
17. “Backwards” by LSD And The Search For God
“Backwards” is the debut single by American shoegaze band LSD and the Search for God. The song was released in 2007 and is from the band’s self-titled album. The song features heavy use of reverb and delay, which creates a hazy and dreamlike soundscape.
18. “Fuzzle Kiss Song” by Morella’s Forest
Morella’s Forest is an American shoegaze band from Dayton, Ohio. The band was active in the early 1990s and released a few albums. “Fuzzle Kiss Song” is a song from their “Superdeluxe” album. The song is calm and relaxing, making it a great addition to your night playlist.
19. “Lose My Breath” by My Bloody Valentine
Next on the list is “Lose My Breath” by the Irish rock band My Bloody Valentine. The song is from the band’s album “Isn’t Anything”, which is considered one of their best albums of all time. “Lose My Breath” is one of the more aggressive songs on the album, with a driving guitar riff and pounding drums. It was released in 1988.
20. “The Color of Love Is Blue Song” by Apollo Heights
Wrapping up the list is “The Color of Love Is Blue” by American shoegaze band Apollo Heights. The song is from the band’s album, “White Music for Black People”, which was released in 2007. It’s a beautiful and atmospheric song that will leave you feeling nostalgic. If you’re a fan of the shoegaze genre, then this underrated song is a must-listen.
With so many amazing shoegaze songs out there, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 20. But I think these are some of the best shoegaze tracks of all time. They showcase the best of what the genre has to offer: dreamy melodies, ethereal vocals, and walls of distortion.
If you’re new to shoegaze, these songs are a great place to start. And if you’re already a fan, I hope you’ll find some new favorites in this list.