The 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time

Shoegaze

Some may argue that shoegaze is not even a sound but an otherworldly sensation that engulfs both listener and creator from the ground up (literally). See, it wasn’t the shoes these artists were gazing at, but the pedals beneath them—pedals that could turn a simple six-string into a conduit to another state of consciousness. In the entire musical spectrum, shoegaze is really just a blip, a micro-genre for guitar geeks and perpetual daydreamers, yet it’s worth a 50 All-Time Best playlist from Pitchfork because it’s been so influential to nearly every indie movement following it—and still is. I’d even go as far as to say that many of those dark, dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes dominating 21st-century indie, electronic, even hip-hop could arguably be traced back to Kevin Shields’ feet. And Pitchfork agrees My Bloody Valentine is where shoegaze starts and (basically) ends. From there, their list isn’t too terribly shocking, loaded at the top with the genre’s usual suspects (Slowdive, Ride, Swervedriver) and sprinkled with artists like M83 and Ulrich Schnauss who have shifted their gaze downward once or twice for some notable space excursions. But shoegaze has never been about the artists themselves—there’s no room for ego in all that ecstatic haze, after all.