you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

22 June 2011

2 New Videos: I Break Horses. Hearts. AND a Hearts Remix by Tom Rowlands (One Half of the Chemical Brothers).

Courtesy of the fantastic Simon Raymonde (Bella Union/Cocteau Twins), When The Sun Hits received two amazing videos in our inbox recently - One features the original version of the new song "Hearts" by I Break Horses, and the other is a "Hearts" remix, done by none other than Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers. We adore both versions, and highly recommend you all check out I Break Horses. Head over to the Bella Union website for more information, and thanks for the heads up, Simon. Awesome sounds on this.

Interview v. 2: Geoffrey and Julie of Slowness.

Slowness, based in California, consists of three members - Geoffrey Scott: guitars & vocals, Julie Lynn: bass, vocals & keys, and Scott Putnam: drums & vocals. The trio have been called "a gleaming jewel in San Francisco's indie tiara" (by Signal to Noise), and we can certainly see why! Slowness is a relatively new band to hit When The Sun Hits' radar (shame on us!), but as soon as we heard their hypnotic drone-pop, we all immediately fell in love and demanded they give us a track for The First 100,000 Compilation or ELSE. Ok, we asked nicely, but that is how excited we were about them! Their EP, Hopeless But Otherwise (which was just reviewed by Rob Turner HERE) blew us away. And that, gentle gazers, is how their beautiful track, "Little King", became the compilation closer, and the story of how WTSH fell in love with the music of Slowness. Cheers.

How and when was the band formed?

JULIE: Geoff and I had been playing music together, informally, for about nine years, so we finally decided to form a band and make a record.

GEOFFREY: About three years ago Jules and I edited a movie together. We knew we didn’t want to collaborate that way anymore but we worked well together, so decided to put our heads together with music instead. We asked our friend Erik to drum on some demos with us, which eventually turned into recording the EP with Monte. We did two or three gigs in SF and did a US tour.

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)?

JULIE: We’ve begun working on a new record with Scott Putnam on drums. He’s also brought a wonderful harmony element to the vocals. Sean Eden (Luna) will add some guitars on it. He also played on a 7” single that we hope to press in time for our shows this summer in NY and DC with Dead Leaf Echo. This will be our first vinyl, so were pretty excited about it. We plan to put the new record out early next year, and support it with a European tour in June 2012.

Do you consider Slowness's 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?

GEOFFREY: We get labeled as shoegaze, which is fine, but we don’t feel confined to that. We do stare at our instruments, for lack of technical ability, but not at our shoes. We never labeled ourselves as such and turn red-in-the-face embarrassed whenever someone asks: “what kind of music do you play?” When we are in the mood to describe ourselves, we feel most comfortable calling ourselves drone pop, which is no established genre at all.

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

JULIE: I spend more time listening to Duke Ellington, Morrissey, The Gogo’s and Sonic Youth. But I do like the bands we’re playing with a lot. Screen Vinyl Image, Dead Leaf Echo, Sky Drops, Tied to the Branches, and Moonbell.

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

GEOFFREY: I can never find the right guitars, pedals or amps, so I buy stuff and then sell it or trade it and then repeat the process. It’s really annoying and expensive.

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?

JULIE: It’s changing so fast, it’s hard not to feel behind. This new DIY world has helped us sell our music in Lithuania, Chile, South Africa, Italy, China and a bunch of other countries. There’s something really positive about having a connection with people all over the world. On the whole, it’s positive, but also exhausting. There’s only so much you can do, especially when you have to work for a living.

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

JULIE: We have done everything DIY so far, and that works, but we wouldn’t say no to some help. DIY is very cool, because you’re directly involved with everything and know that you can get it done yourself. The negative part of doing it all ourselves is that it can put a squeeze on playing.

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

GEOFFREY: We buy records and used CDs, the latter of which are great because they are not hip and everyone has shed their collections, so we get to continue building a music library somewhat frugally. Downloads are fine, especially high-quality mp3s and those which come with vinyl. But file-sharing low-grade mp3s is a bummer, unless it’s Metallica.

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

GEOFFREY: We’re all music fanatics. Too many to name.

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?

GEOFFREY: Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries. Woody Allen’s new movie.

JULIE: I steal other people’s books from time to time and read them very slowly.

GEOFFREY: Yeah, mine.

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

JULIE: Slowboat, because it has some sort of balance in the lyrics between looking both at what is dark and light in life.

GEOFFREY: When we were writing it, it went through a very strange transition at one point. It had this really bad, cheesy metal riff, and then Jules came in with the new bass line, and it changed everything.

Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

JULIE: Geoff usually comes up with the foundation on guitar and vocals. Then we start coming up with parts for bass and drums. Keyboards usually don’t come until we record.

GEOFFREY: For every 10 songs we come up with, two or three stick. Sometimes, a song will linger around like a hanger-on for a year or so, and we’ll play it as part of our live set, or we’ll try to record it three different ways, four different times, until we say, “Song, would you please go away?” And then the song walks away and we feel liberated.

What is the band’s goal for 2011?

GEOFFREY: To continue getting Hopeless but Otherwise out there. To get the 7” pressed and distributed. To finish the new record and have it ready to put out the first day of 2012. And to book the 2012 European Tour.

JULIE: We may also try to incorporate keyboards into our live set.

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

GEOFFREY: Despair is the devil.

JULIE: Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

*Top two photos are credited to Brad Wise and Aaron Campbell, respectively.

18 June 2011

Shoegaze Quote of the month: Barry from High Fidelity tells a customer how it is (well, sorta). The JAMC vs. Echo? Nah, but funny!

Barry: How about the Jesus and Mary Chain?
Barry's Customer: They always seemed...
Barry: They always seemed what? They always seemed really great is what they always seemed. They picked up where your precious Echo left off, and you're sitting around complaining about no more Echo albums. I can't believe you don't own this fucking record. (tosses the record to the customer and walks away) That's insane. Jesus. ~From High Fidelity

17 June 2011

Video: Ulrich Schnauss. Fahrenheit.

Insomnia Report: Amber Can't Sleep & Posts a Few Night-Related Videos. It's Because She is Weird.

Since I am randomly unable to sleep tonight, how about some late night WTSH content? The blog never posts anything late at night, and I don't know why (aside from the fact that we are asleep). Insomnia is the bane of my existence, so I suppose I'll make the best of my unwanted consciousness during tonight's witching hours and do a little late night gazing. Night gazing deserves a quiet night... (that lyrical reference is now part of the Official Canon of Bad Ass Lyrics, by the way...know this.)

Let's about a couple of gazer vids about night time and sleeplessness and the moon and all that. Why not? I'll just go for whatever springs to mind first. If I gave myself time to think too much, I'd be up all night for sure. Make a list yourself! It's fun. :)


Screen Vinyl Image. Midnight Sun.

Slowdive. So Tired.

Wild Nothing. The Witching Hour.

Autumn's Grey Solace. The Moon Nocturnal.

Sleeping Peonies. Black Lanterns.

Ceremony. Cold Cold Night.

Dean & Britta. Moonshot.

Alcian Blue. Night Sky.

The Psychedelic Furs. Midnight to Midnight.

Morrissey. Moon River (cover).

sunn o))) - It Took The Night To Believe.

MBV. When You Sleep.

Air Formation. Don't Wait Til Dawn.

Cranes. Tomorrow's Tears.

16 June 2011

Video: Kyte. Eyes Lose Their Fire.

Top 5 Records of the Week.

Welcome to another installment of When The Sun Hits' weekly obsessions. The 100,000 celebration was a blast, thank you to everyone! There are still a few more interesting surprises and announcements to unveil in the coming stay tuned! UBER GAZE. And whatnot.

For the uninformed, our weekly Top 5 Records lists include older and classic LPs and EPs for you to revisit, as well as brand new releases, so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of new artists and still rock out to classics. It's a great way to give old and new bands exposure, plus we just like making lists, because we are music nerds like that.

We've archived all of the previous weeks for your browsing enjoyment, which you can find in the right side bar, if you're curious about such things.

*Amber's Top 5 Records of the Week*

1. Boris. Heavy Rocks. Daymare Recordings. (2011)

2. Kyte. Science for Living. Rallye Records. (2009)

3. Smashing Orange. My Deranged Heart 7 inch. Lactate Records. (1991)

4. Keith Canisius. The Oceanic Voyage II: 2009 - 2011 . Darla. (2011)

5. Robin Guthrie. Emeralds. Darla. (2011)

*Danny's Top 5 Records of the Week*

1. The Daysleepers. Waves of Creation: Remixes, B-sides, Demos. Rain Delay Music. (2010)

2. Magnog. More Weather. Kranky. (1997)

3. Amp. Bliss Out, Vol. 4. Phantom. (2004)

4. Echodrone. The Sun Rose in a Different Place. Self released. (2009)

5. a-ha. Hunting High and Low. Reprise. (1985)

15 June 2011

New Releases: The Consolation Project Releases Two More Full Lengths.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you've heard of The Consolation Project. If you are a newbie (*waves* hi new reader person!) or have a questionable memory, The Consolation Project is essentially the solo project of Ron Cavagnaro. Not only was TCP featured on The First 100,000 Compilation, but we've also interviewed Ron (it was the first of a handful of interviews we've conducted via internet chat, thus pretty bizarre and entertaining) and featured several news blurbs about him in the recent past.

Ron is also one of the most prolific artists I've personally ever encountered. No, seriously. Since December of 2010, The Consolation Project has released ELEVEN full length albums on bandcamp. No, I'm not fucking joking. ELEVEN. What's even more unbelievable - all eleven of them are good! Boggles the mind, does it not?

Point being, since the last time we posted about TCP, Ron has released 2 full length records - Vampire Souls in May 2011 and Even Greater Things Will Happen Tonight in June 2011 (yesterday, in fact). We highly encourage you to check them both out, and for those of you out there who've been feeling a new music drought as of late, well, here's an ocean of it. Dive the fuck in!

Album Review: Slowness. Hopeless But Otherwise EP.

Artist: Slowness.
Hopeless but Otherwise EP.
Record Label:
Ourselves Records.

4.7 / 5
Rob Turner.

(Check out the brand new interview with the band HERE!)

The only reason this is getting a 4.7/5 rating (rather than higher) is because I wanted to leave room for Slowness to grow into an LP. Hopeless But Otherwise is an amazingly solid four song EP, and I want more!

The first track, "Black & White", sets the stage for what you know will be a great listening adventure. The chiming guitar into solid bass and drums, then the almost hypnotic vocals (the lyrics are very smart and well thought out, with an overall sense of warmth) .

Slowness. Black & White.

The second track, "Duck and Cover ", is my personal favorite off this EP.
(Enough said!)

The third track, " Slow Boat", (which was also included on the Rock Back for Japan compilation (volume two, track four) is a real earworm! It will absolutely make you chant the lyrics: "Project the past... Protect the future..." like you have undiagnosed Turrett's.

Slowness. Slow Boat.

The fourth and final track, "Little King ", is the soundtrack to the sweetest shoegaze dreams you could ever want to have...(which is why we included it on The First 100,00 Compilation, of course!).

I know Slowness is a band to keep an eye on in the future!

For further investigation:


10 June 2011

New Video/Single: Spotlight Kid. Plan Comes Apart.

Great new single from Spotlight Kid! The song will be available for download via their bandcamp page on June 27, so until then, enjoy the tune via this awesome video!

06 June 2011

An Easier Download of the 100,000 Compilation.

Hi everyone! For those who haven't yet downloaded the comp, some angel went ahead and put all the files in one zip file - way faster than downloading the tracks singularly, which is apparently how we posted it the first time (dudes, we were really tired - sorry!). Thank you, anonymous wonder-person!!

05 June 2011

The First 100,000: A Compilation. Free Download and Exclusive Material!

Here's the proof that the WTSH 100,000 Commemoration Compilation actually HAS been in the making and, in fact, DOES exist! But is it ready for download, you ask? ("For free?" someone in the back chimes in...) Hell yes it is! This will have a more official release in the next week or so on bandcamp, simply because we think it will reach even MORE people that way, but this is the final product! Below you will find the album cover art (sans Danzig, sorry guys) and the track listing. Please try to keep your wits about you, despite the high levels of awesome.

As we've already mentioned, several songs on this comp are very special. As you go through the track listing, you will see why! Most of the songs are brand new, unreleased, demos, or made specifically for this compilation. Huge deal to us! Thank you to everyone: the readers, musicians, label owners, and gazers. We're proud to know you all.

Danny & Amber.

Click above to download your free compilation.

:Track Listing:

1. The Consolation Project - Damage.
2. Love Culture - Islands.
3. Bloody Knives - Whatever You Want. (previously NEVER released)
4. Music for Headphones - Doctor.
5. The Sleepover Disaster - Funnel Cloud.
6. Astrobrite - Supernova Kiss. (unreleased, made specifically for this compilation!)
7. Soren Well - Starry Eyes Gone Blank Tonight.
8. Spell 336 - Silence. (new version of song)
9. Screen Vinyl Image - New Visions.
10. Resplandor - Sensitive. (Field Mice Cover)
11. The Ice Choir - I Want You Now and Always. (unreleased demo)
12. Famous - The Hanging Gardens (feat. Ana Breton - never been heard by the public or released)**
13. The Electric Mainline - Anyhow. (never been released)
14. Sleepmask - Black Depression Blues. (unreleased)
15. Dead Leaf Echo - Trial.
16. Presents for Sally - Smell Your Scent.
17. Starblood - Seaweed Princess. (unreleased)
18. Mittenfields - Mixed Signals. (unreleased)
19. - Lady Luck.
20. Slowness - Little King.

**This particular band has a special history that we are going to cover next week in a feature. Until then, enjoy it!

Mini VJ Set: Ryan L Abato, creator of I Am The Programmer, chooses his top 5 most influential shoegaze tracks.

Mr. L Abato, WTSH owes you one of the biggest debts of all - your creation, I Am The Programmer (which got it's start as an IATP facebook group page fueled by Ryan's downloadable podcasts) gave music obsessives like us a nurturing arena to hardcore geek out and not feel super geeky about it. IATP played a big role in bringing together many groups of people via our common bond - and the WTSH group in particular. Every single person involved in this blog met via the IATP group page. We can all say whatever about Facebook - yeah it's annoying, it's distracting, it's just plain weird sometimes - but these people are our true friends. We speak on the phone, we care for each other, we are there for one another, we occasionally drunk dial one another, and we're business partners. It's amazing that a group of music loving fools could bond so much over music via the interweb that IATP has turned into an internationally acclaimed podcast and the company itself is flourishing, and our humble little blog here has been viewed over 100,000 unique times, and we have big plans on the way as all (I'll stop hinting about it soon, swears!). So thank you, Ryan. I hope that we have given back to you at least a little of what you have given us.

Here's to the future, everyone *raises wine glass*

Oh, and by the way Ryan, Erasure is a good band. You can drop the charade. You love 'em, we all know it - Erasure even knows it.


I really appreciate WTSH letting me take part in their celebration. It's an honor and I wish them continued successes with even bigger support. Thanks so much, Ryan

Blur : Inertia

They were thrown into all sorts of categories when Leisure was first released. When I bought the single to There's No Other Way, Inertia blew me away. It creates this killer wall of sound and should really be acknowledged as a shoegaze song .


Fury Things : Flame

Is it cheating to upload songs not on youtube ? I could never find another song from Fury Things (not to be confused with Furry Things apparently). All I know is this has been played to death and thought I'd share a song with anyone who has not heard it.


Moose : Soon Is Never Soon Enough

Moose appeals to every sense of my musical appetite. They were much broader than one genre, and that is how they became very personal to me. They were able to take a country chord and turn it dreamy. Russell Yates will be on Flights very soon. He has by far one of my favourite voices of all time. Paul Simpson and Guy Chadwick vibes, but way more delicate. This song is always in my head, lucky me !


Blind Mr Jones : Dolores

I have been scrutinizing over what songs should make it in here. So tough ! I'm keeping Adorable, Ride, Swervedrive, UVS, CW, Lush etc out based on pure adoration for most influential songs personally in the genre and Blind Mr Jones has to be there. I frickin love Dolores. They added flutes, c'mon, flutes.


Pale Saints : Babymaker

Ian Masters, a voice from Heaven. So many textures, and all so beautiful. Instead of listing
the actual song since we've all heard it - this fan does a really great job covering it.

Mini VJ Set: Kim Welsh of Morpheme, and Bananagaze enthusiast chooses her top 5 most influential shoegaze-ish tracks.

Kim Welsh is one of the coolest girls we know. Honestly - she is a rare gem, and we are pissed that geography prevents us from hanging out with her and Perry all the time (I mean, if they would even let us in the door. You never know with them.) She is beautiful, her voice is beautiful, and her fucked up sense of humor is beautiful (sorry to break it to the world, but we shoegazers are the silliest people on earth when it comes to anything besides music. Banana Hammock. Should I say more?). Yes, I should. I should also mention that Kim as been a devout champion of banana hammocks throughout her life, but she has recently gone so far as to utterly revolutionize and rejuvenate the banana hammock community. She has even reached out to the small minded world via various media outlets about the the wonders of banana hammocks. In fact, even a banana, the fruit, isn't a safe conversation topic anymore.

Oops, tangent. We do that a lot, too. In short: We adore you, Kim Welsh!

OH and P.S. - She's TOTALLY serious about her 5th video choice.


I don't have the same experience with shoes as everyone else. So I'll give you five that may or may not fit the category that have influenced me to explore the "dreamy" side of rock.

Ivy -Thinking About You

I discovered them way late. I heard "Edge of the Ocean" on a cruise-line commercial and looked for it online and discovered all this other stuff I love. "Thinking About You" has the cutest video, but I also LOOOOOVE "Corners of Your Mind".


Stereolab - Flourescences

I freakin' love this song and I love the video. I've "borrowed" most of their video techniques for my day job. I listen to this song at least once a week.


Pink Floyd - Pigs (Three Different Ones)

I've made no secret about my love for Animals. Soooooooooo dreamy. I picked this one for this list for the brilliant vocal arrangement. The phrasing and syncopation makes me want to karaoke it. (If only!) It's also why I like the kind of guitar noise I like.


Church - Reptile

This makes me bob and sway around with my eyes half closed so it must be right.


Marty Balin - Hearts

:20 fake dialing of phone and
2:20 to 2:50 banana hammock

Video: Bethany Curve. Door 2416.

This track should have been on my (Amber's) list, but only 5 choices - THE PAIN. The intro to this song alone is a testament to Kick Ass.

Video: Giant Drag. This Isn't It.

Gazer pal Mark T. reminded me that I love (love love) this song.

04 June 2011

Tomorrow: The final day of 100,000 content, compilation news, and Amber forcing you to listen to guitar tone.

What Danny and I first conceived as a 2 day celebration has morphed into a week long string of awesomeness - and YES, there is still MORE to come! Tomorrow (Sunday) should be the finale of most (probably all) of the content; the binary equivalent of a crate full of band interviews will post next week, during back to normalness time.

The compilation WILL BE AVAILABLE TOMORROW. We're just waiting on 2 more tracks to be sent in, which we'll get tonight. The compilation is going to be really special, everyone. We're very proud of it. Due to time constraints, the first available download of the comp will be via an easier free download platform - in a week or so, it'll be available via bandcamp, as well, so that the spectacular master piece that it is can be more widely available to the world. Not that bandcamp isn't easy for YOU GUYS to dl from, but setting it up takes about a bazillion point three eight years (not really, but we need more time to do it).

And YES, the cover art has been chosen, approved of by all of us with little to no giggling, and won't feature David's laser adorned floating head, Mark E. Smith's mangled rat grill or a rose hued Danzig. I tried to get a unicorn on there, but was outvoted.

In all seriousness, it's a great great comp. High quality in all respects, one of a kind tracks, specialness all around.

ALSO, if not tomorrow, then Monday we will announce the Big Future Plans And Ideas we've been hinting about all week. We're excited about this! You should be too! Clap your hands and chair dance or whatever! Put on some German coldwave from 1985 and stoically cut a rug. Shout quotes from "Blue Velvet" at a loved one. Watch Ren and Stimpy. Make your mom watch the video for New Order's "Touched (By the Hand of God)". Whatever it is you do when you are excited, do that.

So until tomorrow, here's this video, which has nothing to do with anything 100,000 related, I was just speculating earlier today to Laser Head about how I really like the guitar tone in this song, and that's basically why I'm posting it. It's also a good song. But that guitar tone? It's good right? And I'll be putting on a sunn o))) LP right after this, so don't even TRY to call me cheesy.

03 June 2011

News: Custom Made Music Releases Teaser Video.

Every single thing on this teaser vid is awesome.

Mini VJ Set: Perry Pelonero of Morpheme, and Skylight chooses his top 5 most influential shoegaze tracks.

Perry Pelonero is many things to many people: an excellent musician in a slew of current bad ass bands, a former member of a slew of now defunct bad ass bands, a kind and generous chap, a great friend, a huge supporter of music and musicians, he's married to a hot chick, and he is a flatulent pain in our arses...kidding! If you've followed the blog at all, you know we LOVE Perry Pelonero and Kim Welsh. They are hilarious and wonderful and have that rare sense of humor than can have us rolling on the floor laughing (because we have yet to actually grow up). Perry also enjoys getting into violent and hilarious verbal wars with one of his bandmates, Dean Garcia (yes, that Dean Garcia, of Curve), which is entertaining for everyone (especially us!). We'd say more, Perry - but yeah, nutsack. (don't even ask, people, haha)

We love you, P! THIS MUCH!


Swervedriver - Sci flyer

First time I heard this song the guitars and Adams voice just did it for me. I had never heard tones like that. Met them in Boston right when this album came out. We sat at a bar and drank Red Stripes.. They went on stage that night, and I hung off the side of the stage monitors... They made me DEAF that night. Thanks guys.

Spacemen 3 - Revolution

The drone and power .. Period.. This song still kicks massive amount of ass....


Curve - Horror Head

Yeah.. Fuck yeah.. Fucking A yeah? Toni's voice. Dean's bass... The guitars!! Fuck yeah... Who would think that I would make music with him all these years later.... Influential? Fuck yeah...

And speaking of Dean, I just want to add two things: firstly, I can beat Dean's ass with my eyes closed. Secondly, Dean - fucking change your bass strings.


Primal Scream - Higher Than the Sun
(Sorry Perry, this is your moment, but can I add: FUCK YEAH for this song. FUCK YEAH)

Pure.. Fuck the rest.. love this song...


Boo Radleys - Does This Hurt?

Everything's Alright Forever... Nuff said.. I think i used to listen to the whole album over and over.. Never really liked much after this album... The video is fucking stupid though...