Wisp Quizzed on Shoegaze Songs by Someone Who Doesn't Know What Shoegaze Is

Title Fight? Really?

Photo via @shanrizwan on TikTok

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 10, 2024

Shoegaze is back, baby! While it never really went anywhere, the genre certainly has found a broader cultural renaissance of sorts on TikTok, where Zoomers are embracing material from both its MBV Loveless days of yore and new music being created by an active community of young artists — like San Francisco's Wisp, who just released her debut EP, Pandora (featuring the viral hit "Your face"), last month.

That same musician born Natalie R. Yu has now gone viral again, but this time for fans — and music nerds eager to live in a world where there's basic genre literacy — being outraged by her getting quizzed on her knowledge of shoegaze based on songs that aren't really shoegaze.

A video of the singer-songwriter was posted to TikToker Shan Rizwan's page this week. The video adopts a popular format where the host asks a pedestrian (or a famous musician posing as such) to name a handful of songs played for them through a pair of headphones. Wisp was asked to name three songs in her self-proclaimed favourite genre — two of which are being called out by commenters as, uh, not being shoegaze.

Even for someone like me, who likes to be chillin' post-genre most of the time and would absolutely pronounce "shoegaze" like "Fugazi" at a party for fun, was a little offended when the first quote-unquote "shoegaze" song Rizwan played for Wisp was "Space Song" by Beach House. But okay, fine, shoegaze and dream pop can often be equated. However, the second song was Title Fight's "Shed."

Of course, genres of music are mostly just arbitrary categories to which we've attached historical context and set of conventions, but still — don't Wikipedia definitions mean anything to anyone anymore?


How Well Do You Know Shoegaze Music?

♬ original sound - Shan Rizwan

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