Published Oct 16, 2008My appreciation (read: obsession) for shoegaze is something I wish I could explore further in this column but truth be told, there aren't a lot of second (or is it third?) generation artists out there replicating the sounds I fell in love with back in the mid-'90s. True, a recent article I wrote laid out a number of different artists and scenes inspired by the "scene that celebrated itself," which have used a lot of shoegaze's characteristics to forge their sound, but I often long to hear more of that classic noise.
Meet Daniel Land, a Mancunian who is closer to Slowdive than the band's final album. With his band the Modern Painters, Land replicates the euphoria we all felt back in the day listening to Lush's Spooky, Slowdive's Souvlaki and sure, even My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Sonic Cathedral, the "night" and "label that celebrates itself," discovered this talent and is set to release his forthcoming single on October 27, commencing with a couple of shows in London with prog-gazers School of Seven Bells.
Maybe he picked up a thing or two on his recent tour with former Slowdive front-man Neil Halstead (likely not), because Land's new double A-side single (produced by shoegaze enthusiasts Ulrich Schnauss and Mark Peters, formerly of Engineers) is like the Reading legends came back to life for one last hurrah. "Within the Boundaries" utilizes the ethereal guitar washes and shimmering delayed effects for a transcendental waltz that acts like an addendum to Just For A Day. It's majestic, to say the least.
On the the flipside is "Benjamin's Room," which Land calls "probably the only country song written specifically about gay sex." I would have agreed had Arthur Russell's Love Is Overtaking Me not just surfaced but Land's ballad carefully balances a gentle twang with more of the heavenly noise that shimmers as his calling card.
I hesitate to categorize him in the cringe-inducing "nu-gaze" community. Just like everyone before him, he likely doesn't want to be a shoegazer, but his two examples here are as classic as the ones that celebrated the scene in the first place.
Daniel Land "Within the Boundaries" / "Benjamin's Room"