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Shoegaze Into Spring Semester

The moment we (mostly) all have been waiting for: the return to campus. After a long, hard winter break of being sprawled out on your couch, covered in various snack foods, drooling over Norman Reedus in AMC’s The Walking Dead (No? Just me?), it’s time to get back to being the academic scholars we are. Luckily enough, syllabus week is fairly relaxed and allows you to get back into the swing of things. Even better, the weekend is right around the corner, and what better way to get back into the school year than to go out with your best friends? Unfortunately, every student knows that instead of enjoying the comforts of home and the company of your family, you will be covered in papers stained with coffee and syllabi jam-packed with course requirements that make you want to pull your hair out. But! Do not fret. I’ve created a playlist that is equally parts “dancey” and “chill” to ease you back into stomaching Locke’s.

“Nothing But History” by Gemini Club, off of their EP, Here We Sit.

What I really enjoy about this song by Gemini Club is that it is equally something that you can dance to as well as something that you can relax and enjoy. A band that contains live instruments AND a DJ, they’re definitely a group to pay attention to.

“If You Wanna Stay” by The Griswolds, off of their record, Be Impressive.

This is a song that you can get up and jump around your dorm room with your friends, no matter the hour. Okay, so maybe your neighbors might not necessarily appreciate a thumping drum beat at three in the morning, but you might even entice them to join in and dance poorly with you.

 “I Wanna See You Dance” by Avid Dancer.

A tune like this is non-traditional, at least to me, as to what makes people dance. The song of a former United States Marine, I think this song is certainly something that can get even the shyest of dancers off of their feet (Shoegazing is totally viable and cool style of dancing, I swear!)

“The Party Line” by Belle & Sebastian, off of their record, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.

Belle & Sebastian have been around since the 90s and I wish more people knew about them. “The Party Line” deviates from their older work, a song that is significantly more “dancey” than its predecessors. However, the lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, has a voice that is dreamy and atmospheric, allowing strung out students who aren’t in the mood for sad folk to still bop their head and unwind.

“Fall Harder” by Saint Pepsi.

I wish there was more by this group to listen to. The mix of the guitar and simplistic synth together creates a song that is equally upbeat and sad. But, come on, you can still dance to it!

“Swallow” by Best Friend. 

This is a jump from dreamy synth to dreamy guitars and vocals. The first week back is something that is equally as complicated as curating a playlist that is both dance-oriented and mellow. The five weeks of break were long and certainly felt like forever to some, but hey, relax to this song with your best friends, catch up. Make actual conversation, not the “Hey, how are you? Jesus Christ, it’s cold, okay, you’re over there now, I can’t see you, nor hear you, where did these stairs come from?!”

 

“Black Soap” by Ex Cops, off of their debut record, Daggers.

If your soap is black after returning from winter break, please throw it out and get a new one. That cannot be hygienic.

I digress! Ex Cops, a new band from Brooklyn (which, it seems, that all new indie rock groups are from), wrote a song that is easy to sing along to as well as dance whilst staring at your shoes. (I REALLY WANT SHOEGAZING TO BE MORE ACCEPTED). Cuff up your skinny jeans and put on your best black shirt; when listening to this track you’re going to feel like as if you’re part of the hipster underground that is Brooklyn

“Zombie” by Jamie T, off of his record, Carry On The Grudge.

I have a soft spot in my heart for any singer who chooses to sing in her or her own accent. Jamie T’s accent is heavy, but not overpowering. He has created a song that will make walking like a zombie a plausible form of dancing. Even if you don’t feel like dancing, you’re going to dance. It’s not like zombie walking is a particularly energy-draining activity.

“Hymnals” by Grizfolk, off of their EP, From The Spark.

An intro reminiscent of “This Stage is Your Life” by A Silent Film, “Hymnals” by Grizfolk is a fun tune that you can definitely loosen up your joints and jump around to. Headbang, do something. Have fun with this song and especially remember to carry that notion with you throughout the semester.

I’m also particularly a fan of how they rhymed “criminal” with “hymnal”. That’s certainly a rhyme that hasn’t been done before.

“After The Moment” by Craft Spells, off of their album, Idle Labor.

The epitome of a dreamy sound. “After The Moment” tells a story that nearly everyone has experienced: the moments after you say goodbye to your crush. A headache and certainly a pain in the chest. Craft Spells captures the bliss and the pain that comes with saying farewell, whether it be for forever, or only for the night.

Also, shoegaze. 

I am currently a senior at Manhattan College double majoring in English and Communication with a concentration in advertising. When I'm not writing about music, I'm usually eating soup dumplings or petting dogs - ideally at the same time. I'm proudly American with a half-Chinese and half-Italian heritage. You can follow me on Twitter at @ChuChuTrain. I'm funny sometimes.
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