you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

28 September 2012

Set List for WTSH on Strangeways Radio. Aired September 26th, 2012.


band name/track title
Stereolab. Super Electric.
The Raveonettes. Downtown.
Secret Shine. Way Too High.
Young Prisms. Sunshine.
Moose. Screaming.
Lush. Breeze.
Smashing Orange. Nothing Much to See.
The Daysleepers. Cloudless.
[aftersun]. Last Night.
Cranes. Starblood.
Chapterhouse. Satin Safe.
Catherine Wheel. Intravenous.
The Nightblooms. Slowly Rising.
Closedown. Sun Angel Summer.

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight on the Strangeways Blog: Lilys.




When The Sun Hits and Strangeways Radio are uniting on yet another level -
activate the weekly Shoegaze Spotlight!

Every week WTSH will present a shoegaze/dream pop band on Strangeways' blog, highlighting how very awesome the band is and how you should be listening to them and buying their music and supporting them because they deserve it.

This week's focus is on one of WTSH classic faves Lilys.
We at WTSH love Lilys and after reading this, so will you.

Video: Pony Trash. The Weight of the Night.


Bandcamp Track of the Day: Moon Chair. Quiero Nada.

Moon Chair
Quiero Nada



moon chair cover art

27 September 2012

The Deadline to Submit a Track for WTSH's Next Compilation is 5 Days Away!



The deadline to submit your band's track for When The Sun Hits' next compilation, Three.Hundred.Thousand, is closing in! 


At midnight on Monday, October 1st, 2012, we are officially NOT taking any more submissions. 

We've received some amazing tracks already, and yours should be among them, so get to it. All of the info you need to know to submit a track is below, so scroll on down for details. But first, lets discuss some logistics.

So, the compilation will be released in December 2012. Perhaps you're asking yourself - WTF will we be doing with all of those submissions for the 2 whole months in between the deadline and release of the compilation? Starting next week, WTSH will be doing a Band Submission Spotlight post several times per week, highlighting some of the rad material we've received. We'll give you links and info on the band, tell you why they are awesome, and urge you to check them out. There will be pretty pictures and well-placed expletives, as per usual, since that's how we fucking roll.



Also starting next week will be track submission highlights via the radio airwaves, as both DJ Amber of When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio and DJ Rav of WZBC Flyweight take some time out of both of their radio shows to air some of the gold that's been submitted. More detailed info on that soon, but for now just know that it kicks off next week and it will be super cool and stuff.

COMMENCE EXCITEMENT.

*****************************************

If you were around for the first 100,000 views, and then 200,000 views, then you know that at each of those milestones we released some pretty sweet shoegaze/dream pop compilations (The First 100,0000 and 200,000 Gazes Volume 1 and Volume 2, respectively). These comps consisted of donated tracks we received by calling for band submissions from the gazers and dreamers out there. We released the comps via Bandcamp, as free downloads, and both of them ended up having a much larger circulation than we could have ever anticipated (which is fucking rad, because all of the bands deserved that exposure). Which brings me to my point -

We are now taking submissions for our third compilation, Three.Hundred.Thousand.
The following is what you need to know:

It will be ONE volume, consisting of 30 tracks, end of story. No multi-volume madness this time (although we aren’t TOTALLY divorced from the idea…). However, since we get a load more submissions than will end up on the comp (last time we got about 250 entries), we want to give credit and exposure where it is due, SO –

When The Sun Hits has teamed up with Rav of WZBC Flyweight radio program to help us spread the Awesome via the radio airwaves. Rav and Amber will both feature compilation submissions on their respective radio shows throughout the Fall of 2012. Not only that, but WTSH blog will be featuring a weekly piece that focuses on superior compilation submissions. The idea is to get everyone maximum exposure.

Basically, if you submit a track for this compilation, there is a good chance you will:

a) get aired on the radio
b) be featured on the blog
– and then of course, you could end up on the compilation, too! Read on to find out how to submit a track for consideration.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS
OCTOBER 1st, 2012.

NO EXCEPTIONS.

The compilation will be released via Bandcamp in December 2012.

- If you are in a shoegaze and/or dream pop oriented band (even if you consider yourself on the fringe), then you can submit. You do not need to be on a label. You do not need to have an album out. If you are gazing and recording it, you can submit. Even if it's a solo effort. Even if this is your FIRST effort. You have a chance at this!

- Submit your track to editorwhenthesunhits@yahoo.com. You MUST put "300,000 Compilation Submission" in the title of the email, or be forever lost in the insanity that is our email.

- You can submit ONE track, in mp3 format only. Don't flood our email with multiple submissions or .wav files, please! Personally, I love .wav files, but they are huge and cumbersome in an email.

- Don't waste our time submitting a track with poor sound quality. Seriously. If you are recording music, you know the difference between good and bad audio quality. Use these skills. And there IS a difference between lo-fi and just plain bad quality. GOOD QUALITY AUDIO ONLY PLEASE.

- In the body of the email, you need to put 3 things: a) your/your band's name. b) The track title. c) links to anything promotional (bandcamp, a fb page, WHATEVER), if you have it.

Have any questions? Email editorwhenthesunhits@yahoo.com with a subject of "ATTN AMBER: compilation questions" and I will answer them. Don't message myself, Danny, Rob, WTSH, or any other WTSH staff via FB about this.

Pretty easy, right?! We are so stoked to hear what you guys have! Amber and Rav will update you more soon on the chance to get your band aired on the radio, so stay tuned.

The Three.Hundred.Thousand compilation will be even more widely circulated than the first two, so get onboard! Feel free to share this note with anyone you know. Ready, set, GO!!

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Data Unit. Paper Hands.

Artist: Data Unit
Track: Paper Hands


Data Unit - Paper Hands cover art



26 September 2012

Cool Track: Marriages. Ten Tiny Fingers.


Bittersweet Presents: Dead Leaf Echo, The Stargazer Lilies, Panda Riot & DJ Peroxide...


Listen to Yo La Tengo's New Track...


Listen to Yo La Tengo's New Track 
"Stupid Things" 

Tonight! When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. 9pm CST/10pm EST.



Come join me this evening for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways RadioWhen The Sun Hits is one full hour of distilled shoegazey goodness, so black out the windows, grab your headphones, and go down the rabbit hole tonight on Strangeways Radio.

Don't forget to log in to the Strangeways chatroom during the show to hang out with me and many other awesome people while we talk about the music that is airing in real time and god knows what else...

Tune in live every Wednesday, 10pm-11pm (EST), for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Join us in the Strangeways chat room for additional entertainment!

Stream it live here: http://www.strangewaysradio.com/

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Stagnant Pools. Temporary Room.

Artist: Stagnant Pools
Track:Temporary Room




25 September 2012

Live Show Review: Neil Halstead in Venice Beach, CA. August 5, 2012.

Live Show Review:
An Intimate Evening with
Neil Halstead   

Part One


Performance Date:

5 August 2012
Reviewed by: Dave Milewski
Venue:
Mollusk Surf Shop, Venice Beach, CA

Mr. Neil Halstead, what can be said about him…here is a man who seemingly effortlessly and unknowingly revolutionized an entire genre of music, which came to be known as the “shoegaze” genre. Defining the ‘shoegaze’ genre is something that people still argue about frequently; what “is” versus what “isn’t” shoegaze, deemed as such by the ‘definition’ of the genre (which no one can agree upon). Depending on where you are from or what side you wish to take as far as ‘what that word means’, it would not do him justice to stereotype all of his creations into a single genre.

Here’s the scene: it’s roughly 6 pm on a beautiful California summer evening and I am driving towards the beach. The sun begins to set as the tired and weary surfers make their way home, but I am on my way to see Neil Halstead, someone who has influenced myself, as well as so many others, to play the guitar and to give birth to lyrics, notes, and collections of sound, all stacked up in neat fuzzy walls of reverberation.

Entering into Mollusk Surf Shop in Venice Beach, there are about 10-12 people standing outside the building, talking to other locals, smoking cigarettes and enjoying the scenery. On first impression, I immediately think that I’m in over my head and the place is completely filled to capacity, thus pushing people out the door. However, I walk inside and notice a nice little surf establishment located just a few blocks from the California coastline. Inside are various surfboards, books, CDs, ornaments, and arrangements in a neat little order.

Above are two ceiling fans circling calmly and coolly; the people milling about inside the store behaved in a similar fashion. All along the inside perimeter is a collection of people from various decades, ages, and places. There would be no way to tell if any of these people were  locals, fans, ‘mega fans’, those having gone out on a Sunday evening to enjoy life, musicians, or the wholly uncategorizable. The merchandise is neatly placed; along with the decorations and inhabitants, the whole shop really gives off a relaxing vibe, much like the music that would soon be heard.

I saw many people at this show who, upon first glance, were those lucky enough to be around in the time when Slowdive was at their peak. A time when they were still a band, touring the world, and releasing their material over the airwaves, speakers, and headphones to so many people. I saw many children whose ages didn’t reach into the double digits, as well as their parents who had brought them to the event. I wish I had been lucky enough to have my parents bring me to a Genesis event when I was that young; to be so small and watch in such awe as one of my biggest musical influences performs before me…

To be consciously aware of being in the same room with a musician who has influenced other people, musicians, and myself was something inexplicable; these words which you are reading and the video capture is still not enough to give you a true account of what happened at Mollusk Surf Shop; it’s truly only left in the memory of those who were in attendance that night. However you want to put it, there was no way to neatly label the audience that was there that night. It was people of all ages, coming from all different facets of life; they knew who Neil was and had been called to assembly because of his influence on the world - which was something amazing to be a part of.

In just that one hour of his performance, Mr. Halstead took us on a journey through solo material (some of which was just released September 11, 2012 on his brand new album, Palindrome Hunches, via Brushfire Records), Mojave 3, and Slowdive tracks. He was also accompanied by two other fantastic musicians, Ben Knight and “Farmer” Dave Scher, members of the band Beachwood Sparks, whom (according to Mr. Halstead), had never performed with each other prior to the event. When Neil comes onstage he is as cool and calm as his surroundings. He is dressed in jeans, sneakers, t-shirt and a green plaid over shirt; everything matching and reflecting the Venice Beach weather and style of Neil’s music.

(Video 1)

(Video 2) Neil introduces himself to the crowd and quickly starts playing his first track, “Tied to You”, which is from his new album, Palindrome Hunches.

Next, he tunes his guitar by ear (classy as all fuck) and starts playing the beginnings of his track, “Digging Shelters”, but stops quickly after a few seconds because he mentions he can’t do it. The crowd laughs (as does Neil); he pauses and then starts playing “Full Moon Rising” which was a HUGE highlight for the night.




You can see the raw, human emotion and pure drive he possesses in this track; how he effortlessly strums the strings to driving resonance and makes the people in the audience quiet down and stand in wonder, taking in everything in like a wave. As he finishes this one, the crowd gives a congratulatory wave of applause and whistles; he then begins to prepare himself for the next track as he speaks about the difference between California and Dallas, Texas (where he had performed his previous show), where it was far too hot. A fan in the audience offers him some support and everyone laughs.

For the third track, he tells us he is going to perform a Mojave 3 track; this is acknowledged by support and applause. He tells us about the true meaning and nature of the upcoming track, and the audience laughs harder than ever, giving him a couple woo’s and claps while he tunes the guitar in preparation. He starts playing the beginnings of Mojave 3’s “Yer Feet” and captures the attention of the audience instantaneously.

(Video 4) The opening lyrics, “I was drunk when I met you and I was drunk when you walked out the door,” couldn’t have been more appropriate; the whole night was supported by the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company (of Buellton, California) offering two varieties of free beer, Davy Brown Ale and Hoppy Poppy IPA (fantastic beer, by the way). Unfortunately, this is the part where my camera overheats and shuts off, so I miss a part of this song. I manage to get it going again right before the last lyrics of “Yer Feet” begin.

(Video 5) You can hear a vocal stutter/break when Neil sings the line, “like a dog that comes when I call,” as if there is a deeper personal meaning to these words that we couldn’t possibly understand; he continues forward. Neil mentions that the acoustic guitar he is using was made by a friend of his who used to “make really bad surfboards, (but) now makes really nice guitars.” Apparently this guitar was also on its very first journey to the United States. A high-pitched voice comes out of the crowd, shouting, “WE LIKE IT!” and it was true; I am in no way a classically trained musician, but the guitar sound was on point for the event.

(Video 6) This next part marks the point when Ben Knight and “Farmer” Dave Scher of Beachwood Sparks join Neil Halstead onstage to perform Mojave 3’s “Who Do You Love.” After a bit of laughter, they take the stage and begin the performance, using an organ, vintage Fender Telecaster guitar, and a beautiful and fantastic assortment of instrument fx pedals.

(Video 7) Camera flashes erupt and the musicians’ expressions become dueling “guitar faces.” A female acquaintance of Beachwood Sparks sits atop an amplifier, assisting with the tremolo effects as everyone is singing and playing and performing to their heart’s content. Everyone, both band and audience, is having a good time… all is well. It ends too soon and Neil offers his gratitude to the tremolo assistant. The band starts playing Neil’s track “Seasons” from the Sleeping on Roads LP. Using the voice box/hose, some absolutely BEAUTIFUL sounds are created. At this point Neil modestly claims, “We have never together played before,” followed by laughter from the crowd and band alike.

(Video 8) Neil is then left by himself to play by Mojave 3’s, “In Love with a View,” while Beachwood Sparks take a break. It seems Neil may be assisted by Farmer Dave Scher on pedals/speaker effects, as he can be seen crouching down behind the organ and looking at Neil as he plays. Neil begins the track and sneaks in the lyric “answer the phone!” as the store phone rings in the background; he laughs then continues to sing.

(Video 9) Spacey effects come back in as Farmer Dave Scher assists, beautifully/effortlessly using a PEDAL STEEL (a slide guitar), which is a fantastic proxy for the shoegaze-ey walls of sound. I have never seen another band so successfully employ these tactics. If you can see from the videos, many people in the audience began to sit or lay down on the carpet, as if Neil was acting as a fantastic storyteller for them. At the end, he appears to say “beautiful story” which was perfect; it faithfully reflected the ambience of his lyrics, vocals, audience, and atmosphere of the building. The meaning of the song title, “In Love with a View,” was truly captured in every way possible as he performed this one.

Next he does another ‘almost’ solo track, as Farmer Dave Scher once again assists him from under the organ, doing something with the pedals. As he finishes to the roar of applause, Neil tells us the song was off the previous record, Oh! Mighty Engine. He then asks the crowd if they “are doing alright” and quickly begins to play the title track of the aforementioned LP.

(Video 10) The chattering of the crowd turns to silence as the song progresses, as if the lyrics begin to gain greater strength. A heaviness falls upon the crowd, but that soon becomes laughter when a beer is brought to Neil by a person crawling along the floor. After a large amount of applause, Neil grabs his harmonica and mentions it will be “in D” and plays his track “Wittgenstein's Arm” which is also from the brand new album, Palindrome Hunches.

(Video 11) It was really nice to hear the harmonica complimenting the guitar sounds on this one. Many tracks on his albums employ the use of pianos, guitars, harmonica, and variety of other instruments; tonight he has done a very good job capturing the essence of the recorded tracks in a live setting. A photographer walks around snapping pictures of the audience and of Neil as he sings. He once again is congratulated and acknowledged with claps and camera flashes while he invites Ben Knight and Farmer Dave Scher back onstage to play Mojave 3’s “Some Kinda Angel” with him.


(Video 12) More excitement and frequent camera flashes begin to fill the store as Ben and Neil sing as a duet. Farmer Dave Scher plays the keys and often presses switches on the Line 6 DL-4 set up atop the organ. The exhilaration is beginning to reach an apex at this point. Everyone in the band is really getting into it; upon finishing the song, the band receives some of the loudest applause of the night. Neil smiles and seems to say to Ben, “We need to learn some more songs over spring.”

(Video 13) The best part comes next as Neil Halstead mentions the band will be attempting to play some Slowdive songs together, using the pedal steel/slide guitar, a Fender Telecaster, Neil’s acoustic guitar and an array of fx pedals. As they tune their instruments, the crowd’s anticipation is palpable as the opening lyrics to “40 Days” come in, “Forty days and I miss you/ I’m so high that I’ve lost my mind…”


The pedal steel did some FANTASTIC representations of the old Slowdive sound, along with the Telecaster. This was the merging of the ‘old’ sound with the ‘new’; Neil was totally getting into the singing while letting Beachwood Sparks take care of the “shoegazing” element of the track. As they end, Neil and Farmer Dave Scher begin to play Slowdive’s “Alison”; a slight delay in the pedal steel brings a laugh out of Neil as he continues to sing, joined by Ben Knight on guitar.

It was funny and really cool to see Ben Knight staring/gazing at the floor while getting into the guitar. At the point of the solo, all three members of the band can clearly be seen getting into their parts of the performance. As they end, more congratulatory applause is given as Neil Halstead thanks Ben Knight and “Farmer” Dave Scher. He goes on to say he’s about to play his last track of the set, “Spin the Bottle”, from the new album; lastly, he tells us he will be back in October.


(Video 15) As Neil Halstead finishes playing the final notes, he is congratulated one last time by rousing applause and whistles. Even a small dog is excitedly wagging its tail; the dog happily walks right up to Neil, who of course pets it, being the kind soul that he is!

(Video 16) Neil said goodbye and the crowd began to slowly exit the store. Neil was seen walking around, talking to audience members, shaking hands, thanking the band, and taking pictures with fans. Finally it was my turn to talk with him, and things got rather interesting…


TO BE CONTINUED with PART TWO…


VIDEO ARCHIVE
Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF1850932B49A2200&feature
Video 2: http://youtu.be/8xTVLnw9GS0
Video 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xJIqyDhMT0
Video 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPyZlpAcAyA
Video 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6F45q6SY0o
Video 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6DQGubmBNI
Video 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc-8OffIzl8
Video 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWjIF5DxqVY
Video 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7BXKa2nuiE
Video 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3c3IhaPFZA
Video 11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juqfn9NF3TM
Video 12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_9Aya086UA
Video 13: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuAL-02qT-I
Video 14: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TppyvsRmLlQ
Video 15: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvysqVnvoJU
Video 16: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xehFNgILRQs

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Drop Electric. Empire Trashed.


Artist: Drop Electric
Track: Empire Trashed



23 September 2012

Video: Young Prisms & Weekend. I Don't Get Much/End Times (Yours Truly Sessions).


Video: Young Prisms. Sugar.


Set List for WTSH Guest DJed by Scott Heim. Aired September 19th, 2012 on Strangeways Radio.

Setlist for When The Sun Hits featuring 
Guest DJ Scott Heim
on Strangeways Radio
September 19th, 2912


band name/track title
Cocteau Twins & Harold Budd. She Will Destroy You.
Pale Saints. Hunted.
Lush. Kiss Chase.
Slowdive. She Calls.
Bailter Space. Shine.
Bethany Curve. Silver.
The Daysleepers. Lightforms.
Air Formation. Cold Morning.
Orcas. I Saw My Echo.
epic45. Summer's First Breath.
Windy & Carl. Program.
Sway. Fall.
Belong. Perfect Life.
Implodes. Screech Owl.
Grouper. A Lie.
Gem Club. 252.

21 September 2012

19 September 2012

TONIGHT! Author Scott Heim Guest DJs WTSH on Strangeways Radio - 9pm CST/10pm EST.


TONIGHT!
Author Scott Heim to Guest DJ
When The Sun Hits
on Strangeways Radio

September 19th, 2012 @ 9pm CST / 10pm EST

Scott Heim, creator of “The First Time I Heard” e-book series and author of novels Mysterious Skin, In Awe and We Disappear, will be guest djing When The Sun Hits TONIGHT! When The Sun Hits is Strangeways’ weekly shoegaze and dream pop radio show, normally hosted by DJ Amber of When The Sun Hits blog. She’ll be handing over the reins at 10pm EST on September 19th to Mr. Heim, who will be djing a full 90 minutes (that's a 30 minute bonus!) of his favorite shoegaze and dream pop music, as well as sharing his thoughts about the tracks, why he chose them, and discussing “The First Time I Heard” series. Log in to the Strangeways Chatroom during the show to chat with Scott and the rest of us Strangies.

Anyone familiar with Heim’s work knows that he is an avid music fan and self-professed music nerd, with a special place in his heart for shoegaze and dream pop music in particular. Heim’s writing tends to invoke the same dreamy, atmospheric space that shoegaze music is so well-known to occupy. For the film buffs, Gregg Araki’s critically acclaimed film adaptation of Mysterious Skin brilliantly captured the distinctive mood of Heim’s writing via its outstanding soundtrack, which heavily featured shoegaze music.

Heim’s most recent work revolves around his project, “The First Time I Heard” series. This is a series of music-related e-books that collect brief, conversational first-person accounts by musicians and writers about the first time they heard a specific iconic band. The first five books focus on (1)David Bowie (2) Cocteau Twins (3) The Smiths (4) Kate Bush and (5) Joy Division/New Order, with future books loosely planned to be based on The Pixies, Roxy Music, Public Enemy, Abba and more.

Don’t miss this very special edition of When The Sun Hits. Stream it live TONIGHT! Wednesday, September 19th at 10pm EST on Strangeways Radio.
www.strangewaysradio.com

Video: Secret Colours. Tomorrow Never Knows.

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Strangeways Radio's 'The English Way' Comp. Skeleton Hands. Oxygen.


Strangeways Radio Compilation: The English Way
Artist: Skeleton Hands.
Track: Oxygen.
Bandcamp.



The English Way cover art

18 September 2012

News: House of Love Re-Issue.

The House of Love's Creation Records Debut to be reissued in a 3 CD set with b-sides, rarities, live tracks, and 19 previously unreleased demos!

New Video: Tamaryn. Heavenly Bodies.

On this day in 1990...

On this day in 1990, Cocteau Twins released their sixth album,
Heaven or Las Vegas
Featuring the singles "Iceblink Luck" and "Heaven or Las Vegas."

News and Free Stream: Strangeways Radio Releases First Compilation, The English Way.

Strangeways Radio is proud to announce the release of our first compilation album, The English Way. As always, we are committed to bringing you the best rising stars and overlooked gems. On The English Way, we have compiled 13 of our favorites from the past year or so; tracks you have heard Monday nights on Sound and Vison + Halcyon Waves, Wednesdays on The Von Pip Musical Express, Toy Factory + When The Sun Hits and Thursdays on Black Planet.



Stream it here:



Among the 13 tracks are 2 exclusives! The English Way is the only place you can hear Oxygen, the new track from Cincinnati Dark Synth band Skeleton Hands or Sylvana from Black Ribbons, the long sought after side project from Daniel Victor of Juno-nominated Neverending White Lights. Also appearing are a trio of LA Synth bands in The New Division, Continues and The Present Moment as well as globe-trotting talent like Kindest Lines (New Orleans), Selebrities (Brooklyn), , Teeel (Trenton, NJ), Hyena Motorcade (Orange County, CA), Mode Moderne (Vancouver), The Spiracles (Peru), Gentle Touch (Sweden) and Torul (Ljubljana).

We are proud to say that these are the tracks that will likely appear on the DJs personal best of 2012 lists, so that should speak to the quality of the music we are offering.

The proceeds from the sale of The English Way go towards the streaming costs and other expenses required to keep the station running. Strangeways Radio is completely listener funded and we appreciate all of the support that we get.

The English Way is available thru Bandcamp for $8 or any higher amount you choose. Please purchase a copy to help support Strangeways and put some amazing new music in your collection. Share with your friends to turn THEM on to the great Strangeways community!


Bandcamp Track of the Day: Haunted Leather. Shapes on the Wall.


Band: Haunted Leather.
Track: Shapes on the Wall.
Bandcamp.



Shapes on the Wall cover art

16 September 2012

Don't Forget: Deadline for Band Submissions for WTSH Compilation is October 1st.

When The Sun Hits is now closing in on 300,000 blog views! Our minds are blown. We just had our 2nd birthday in the last week of July, as well, so we're pretty excited.

If you were around for the first 100,000 views, and then 200,000 views, then you know that at each of those milestones we released some pretty sweet shoegaze/dream pop compilations (The First 100,0000 and 200,000 Gazes Volume 1 and Volume 2, respectively). These comps consisted of donated tracks we received by calling for band submissions from the gazers and dreamers out there. We released the comps via Bandcamp, as free downloads, and both of them ended up having a much larger circulation than we could have ever anticipated (which is fucking rad, because all of the bands deserved that exposure). Which brings me to my point -

We are now taking submissions for our third compilation, Three.Hundred.Thousand.
The following is what you need to know:

It will be ONE volume, consisting of 30 tracks, end of story. No multi-volume madness this time (although we aren’t TOTALLY divorced from the idea…). However, since we get a load more submissions than will end up on the comp (last time we got about 250 entries), we want to give credit and exposure where it is due, SO –

When The Sun Hits has teamed up with Rav of WZBC Flyweight radio program to help us spread the Awesome via the radio airwaves. Rav and Amber will both feature compilation submissions on their respective radio shows throughout the Fall of 2012. Not only that, but WTSH blog will be featuring a weekly piece that focuses on superior compilation submissions. The idea is to get everyone maximum exposure.

Basically, if you submit a track for this compilation, there is a good chance you will:

a) get aired on the radio
b) be featured on the blog
– and then of course, you could end up on the compilation, too! Read on to find out how to submit a track for consideration.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS
OCTOBER 1st, 2012.

NO EXCEPTIONS.

The compilation will be released via Bandcamp in December 2012.

- If you are in a shoegaze and/or dream pop oriented band (even if you consider yourself on the fringe), then you can submit. You do not need to be on a label. You do not need to have an album out. If you are gazing and recording it, you can submit. Even if it's a solo effort. Even if this is your FIRST effort. You have a chance at this!

- Submit your track to editorwhenthesunhits@yahoo.com. You MUST put "300,000 Compilation Submission" in the title of the email, or be forever lost in the insanity that is our email.

- You can submit ONE track, in mp3 format only. Don't flood our email with multiple submissions or .wav files, please! Personally, I love .wav files, but they are huge and cumbersome in an email.

- Don't waste our time submitting a track with poor sound quality. Seriously. If you are recording music, you know the difference between good and bad audio quality. Use these skills. And there IS a difference between lo-fi and just plain bad quality. GOOD QUALITY AUDIO ONLY PLEASE.

- In the body of the email, you need to put 3 things: a) your/your band's name. b) The track title. c) links to anything promotional (bandcamp, a fb page, WHATEVER), if you have it.

Have any questions? Email editorwhenthesunhits@yahoo.com with a subject of "ATTN AMBER: compilation questions" and I will answer them. Don't message myself, Danny, Rob, WTSH, or any other WTSH staff via FB about this.

Pretty easy, right?! We are so stoked to hear what you guys have! Amber and Rav will update you more soon on the chance to get your band aired on the radio, so stay tuned.

The Three.Hundred.Thousand compilation will be even more widely circulated than the first two, so get onboard! Feel free to share this note with anyone you know. Ready, set, GO!!

Scott Heim to Guest DJ When The Sun Hits on September 19th, 2012.

Author Scott Heim to Guest DJ When The Sun Hits
September 19th, 2012 on Strangeways Radio

Scott Heim, creator of “The First Time I Heard” e-book series and author of novels Mysterious Skin, In Awe and We Disappear, will be guest djing When The Sun Hits on the night of Wednesday, September 19th, 2012. When The Sun Hits is Strangeways’ weekly shoegaze and dream pop radio show, normally hosted by DJ Amber of When The Sun Hits blog. She’ll be handing over the reins at 10pm EST on September 19th to Mr. Heim, who will be djing a full 90 minutes (that's a 30 minute bonus!) of his favorite shoegaze and dream pop music, as well as sharing his thoughts about the tracks, why he chose them, and discussing “The First Time I Heard” series.

Anyone familiar with Heim’s work knows that he is an avid music fan and self-professed music nerd, with a special place in his heart for shoegaze and dream pop music in particular. Heim’s writing tends to invoke the same dreamy, atmospheric space that shoegaze music is so well-known to occupy. For the film buffs, Gregg Araki’s critically acclaimed film adaptation of Mysterious Skin brilliantly captured the distinctive mood of Heim’s writing via its outstanding soundtrack, which heavily featured shoegaze music.

Heim’s most recent work revolves around his project, “The First Time I Heard” series. This is a series of music-related e-books that collect brief, conversational first-person accounts by musicians and writers about the first time they heard a specific iconic band. The first five books focus on (1)David Bowie (2) Cocteau Twins (3) The Smiths (4) Kate Bush and (5) Joy Division/New Order, with future books loosely planned to be based on The Pixies, Roxy Music, Public Enemy, Abba and more.

Don’t miss this very special edition of When The Sun Hits. Stream it live Wednesday, September 19th at 10pm EST on Strangeways Radio.



15 September 2012

Set List for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Aired September 12, 2012.


band name/track title
Echo Lake. Wild Peace.
Should. Pulling.
2 Hearts & Chemicals. Saturday.
The Depreciation Guild. Digital Solace.
The Jesus & Mary Chain. Head On.
Disappears. Little Ghost.
The Verve. She's a Superstar.
Exlovers. Starlight, Starlight.
My Bloody Valentine. Sueisfine.
I Break Horses. Empty Bottles.
Monster Movie. Vanishing Act.
Adorable. Homeboy.
Caribou. Sundialing.
Close Lobsters. The Prophecy.

Track: Echo Lake. Wild Peace.


14 September 2012

Album Review: 2 Hearts & Chemicals. True Soul.




When The Sun Hits
Reviews
2 Hearts & Chemicals'
True Soul
LP

Review by: Amber Crain




Artist: 2 Hearts & Chemicals
Album: True Soul
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Record Label:
Self-Released

It would be a stretch to say the music of 2 Hearts & Chemicals falls strictly into the shoegaze genre, but as Eli Lhymn (the band's only consistent member; a revolving cast of friends makes up the rest of 2 Hearts) mentioned in his recent interview with WTSH, the shoegaze community has been extremely supportive of 2 Hearts' music. I think this is more evidence proving something that I posit quite frequently - "shoegaze", in the modern sense, is much more than a certain sound. It's an atmosphere. It completely makes sense to me that 2 Hearts has such a following amongst gazers; they are drawn to the dreamy atmosphere of this music.

One of the most striking things about True Soul is the sheer cinematic quality of it. It's an album best heard in it's entirety; listening to it otherwise doesn't cause the music to lose any of its magic, by any means - it simply alters the spell somewhat. As a whole, this album can take you on a journey; any journey of your choosing, in fact. On this journey, you're in the driver's seat, but True Soul holds the map.



Perhaps this is getting too abstract. But metaphorically speaking, isn't this precisely why we listen to music anyway - to be taken elsewhere; to exist in a different place, to be transported in some way? 2 Hearts does this very well, and I think this is why True Soul is such a satisfying record to listen to. It has that ability to transport you elsewhere, and along the way you realize there is no true destination to reach. It's the journey itself that matters.

Heavily synth-based and dreamy throughout, True Soul is filled with an air of nostalgia. Five seconds into the first track (which is the title track, "True Soul"), and the feeling has already descended heavily upon you. Just roll with it; you're in good hands. The beat comes in, then the vocals, and it starts to become The Song You've Been Waiting to Hear. (You know the one I mean.) The synth work in this track is absolutely otherwordly. One of 2 Hearts & Chemicals' strengths is orchestrating a very well-crafted melody, then creating just the right atmosphere for that melody to exist within. Like any title track worth its mettle, "True Soul" does this incredibly well.



The transition into track two, "Won't Stop", is nearly seamless, carrying the same mood and atmosphere over from it's predecessor. A moving instrumental, it acts as the bridge connecting you to the next track, "Straight into the Night". This track is definitely one of the standouts on the album; a lush pop gem that's somehow both melancholy and hopeful at the same time. The song-craft is what I can't get over; it's impeccable. The tracks are a true and absolute pleasure to listen to.

The LP's midpoint, "Saturday", is another standout. Haunting synths and striking female vocals create such a sense of nostalgia, it's almost as if you've heard the song before. But you haven't heard this song, it's just the song you've been wanting to hear. "Midnight" is another instrumental high point - it perfectly captures the sound of a certain midnight, whatever night that might be to you. We've all lived our own individual midnights and everything that comes along with those nights; likewise, we've all had this particular kind of midnight before. You recognize it's sound immediately, of course, but you could never explain it with words. You're not meant to.



By the time you get to track eight, "Runaway", you're feeling pretty damn good. Who cares where you're going; you're enjoying the ride. A gorgeously arranged instrumental that you could drift away into. The last track, "See You Soon", has all of the same elements that a song in the final scene of a film might have. It somehow revisits every theme or mood you've heard in True Soul and arranges them into a breathtaking and beautiful end. It would be almost heartbreaking, except a comforting nuance in the melody sends you off with the knowledge that you'll return; "See You Soon," it calls.



Stream True Soul in it's entirety
or Buy it on Bandcamp:




Interview: Eli Lhymn of 2 Hearts & Chemicals.



When The Sun Hits
Interviews
Eli Lhymn
of
2 Hearts & Chemicals




How and when was the band formed?

I started 2 Hearts a few years ago, and got my good friend Stephen to join on for the first release, the Coming Home EP. I was playing in one of my favorite bands at the time, Helen Stellar, and once that band came to a close, I just needed to do things on my own terms, and that's when I started 2 Hearts and Chemicals. Now it's become a vehicle for all of my collaborations. Every 2 Hearts release will have a different cast of collaborators.



Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?

We're releasing our debut LP, titled True Soul this month. It's a long time coming! In the near future, there will be LA shows, with a brass and string section! Also, expect another EP later this year...

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?

I consider 2 Hearts to be a more electronic, cinematic thing, than a shoegazey sound. There are dream-pop aspects, but also a lot of string arrangements, and piano, etc. At the end of the day, it's just a sound that is nostalgic, cinematic, and lush. The shoegaze community has been really supportive of us!

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?

I tend to like shoegaze / dream pop bands that do it a little differently. More melody, different production, etc. Not afraid of hooks!

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

Alesis Quadraverb! I used to have this ridiculous effects rig, but now, all I need is a vintage Rat, 80's Ibanez chorus, and a Quadraverb.

What is your process for recording your music? What gear and/or software do you use? What would you recommend for others?

There is no concrete process, other than following whatever is inspiring. Sometimes, it's a drum beat, or a guitar line, etc. I used to have this crazy stamina where I would work on the same idea forever, and never stop until it was “done” - but now I bounce around from song to song, and it's easier that way, and a lot more productive. For recording gear, there is too much to mention, but for me it all starts with an Apogee.

How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

Well...the days of buying music are coming to a quick close (incl Itunes). Subscription is most likely the future, like it or not. Spotify is showing itself to be a strong way to get your music out there to new fans (via apps, sharing playlists, etc.).

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?

Labels are becoming more and more obsolete. Label services like marketing and tour booking are in the hands of the artist now. Labels for the most part are entirely useless. Bandcamp is great, and your true fans will buy your music.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

For the sake of ease, I prefer high-res mp3. Unless you grew up with vinyl and intrinsically know the sonic difference, there is no advantage to vinyl.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?

Sigur Ros, Brian Eno, Ulrich Schnauss.

If you had to choose one 2 Hearts & Chemicals track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?

I'd say the title track “True Soul” - it has a nostalgic feel, lots of guitars, synths, bombastic drums, and pop sensibility. I always love a good pop melody combined with interesting production.



What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Family first.


13 September 2012

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight on the Strangeways Radio Blog: Adorable.


When The Sun Hits and Strangeways Radio are uniting on yet another level -
activate the weekly Shoegaze Spotlight!

Every week WTSH will present a shoegaze/dream pop band on Strangeways' blog, highlighting how very awesome the band is and how you should be listening to them and buying their music and supporting them because they deserve it.

This week's focus is on one of WTSH classic faves Adorable.
We at WTSH love Adorable and after reading this, so will you.