I spent much of last week listening to a lot of My Bloody Valentine… the epitome of a genre now called ‘shoegaze‘ or ‘shoegazer.’ The term apparently comes from the fact that the guitar players in bands like these were the ‘anti-guitar heroes’ and instead of putting on a show of guitar pyrotechnics, they would simply take the backseat and look to their feet…essentially gazing at their shoes. In My Bloody Valentine’s case, they (Kevin Shields mostly…who did later wrote major portions of the Lost in Translation soundtrack) created giant walls of white noise and layers of distorted reverb-drenched guitars.
So what does that have to do with anything? Last week I put up a very basic guitar track (‘Second Take’) of a chord progression in 6\8 I came up with. Feeling a bit writer’s blocked as to what direction to take it, I decided not to touch it for awhile. Well I didn’t completely leave it alone. I took the same progression from last week’s song and changed it dramatically.
As you will hear, the song, now titled creatively, “Third Take,” is now a mush of reverby, crunchy distorted guitars, muddy and loud. But the more I listen to these layers, the more I begin to hear a beauty in the distorted harmonies and simple melodies. I am planning on writing a vocal part that is higher in register, maybe somewhat filtered in the way Sparklehorse or Kevin Shields might sing…and really go with the genre exercise.
Something very cathartic about laying the distortion on thick. Anyway, what do you all think? “Third Take version one.”[audio:https://hellocomein.com/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/ThirdTake_v1.mp3]
UPDATE: This morning I added a few things to the mix, but changed it just enough to have it take on some new shape. Here is Third Take v1b.[audio:https://hellocomein.com/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/ThirdTake_v1b.mp3]
Here is a checklist of things I need to add:
1) a few more reverby effects and things to make the layers a bit smoother around the edges
2) real drums