Jonathan Allen, you are awesome. What more can we say? We've had Life.In.Mono on repeat for months. Please never stop being awesome.
Chapterhouse - "Pearl"
The production on this track is absolutely mind blowing. Regrettably I didn't get into Chapterhouse until a few years ago, but I am constantly amazed by the sheer beauty of their music. This song is like pure aural ecstasy. I love laying back and letting it wash all over me. I also really dig that the drum loop in the breakdown is the same as the Banshees' "Kiss Them for Me."
My Bloody Valentine - "You Made Me Realize"
Probably not my favorite MBV track on record, but how it evolved and is used live has been a huge influence on MFH. This track is brutal, unrelenting noise. It reminds the shoegaze genre that you don't have to be pretty. It hints back at the some of the more immediate roots - Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3.
Spiritualized - "Medication"
This song literally changed my life. The first time I heard it was laying on a bed in a London hotel room with headphones on. I can not conceive of how my life as a musician would have played out with out Pure Phase. The production is sublime and adventurous. The lyrics are honest and frail. This is the peak of psychedelic madness for J. Spaceman, and it's perfection.
Galaxie 500 - "4th of July"
Not shoegaze, but I can think of nothing more dreamy than Galaxie 500. Like J. Spaceman, Dean's words feel so real, so vital, and so easy to relate to. He writes songs for no one but himself, but ends up describing how everyone feels.... sometimes at least.
The December Sound - "Kill Me Before I Kill You"
Regardless that these guys are my friends, when Zach released this track I was instantly excited about the genre again. I had become bored with the derivative nature of early 2000's bands by the time I moved to the East Coast from Portland, but this song made me wake up and start paying attention again. The programming is sublime and the intensity is unreal.