The abundance of influence on modern music is resulting in a vast, echoing melting pot of genres. Most contemporary bands are generally, indefinable. 2016, being a turning point in music history, yields the creation of new sounds and a capitalization on sounds from the past.
“Shoegaze” is a genre of music existing in a space between psychedelic rock and dream pop. It is dark. Shoegaze produces reflective insight upon listening, often teaching you a lesson you previously left unperceived. The form stings with nostalgia but shines with promise through its dreamy, synth reverb. Austin’s dominant shoegaze outfit, Wildfires is diligently working on their second EP–Aguas Frescas 2, a sequel to it’s well perceived predecessor- Aguas Frescas.
The band is composed of four musicians–Gabe and Johanna combine guitar and vocals; third member Aneil handles bass; and drummer Chris contributes a steady beat as well as vocals. The dynamic is in simple taste but yields a large, shimmery sound.
Their 2nd lead single from their upcoming album is titled, “The Lame.” Combining similar sounds of dream-pop sensation M83, paralleled with their own acoustic twist, Wildfires is paving the way for the future of shoegaze in Austin.
“The Lame” rocks and rolls and twists and turns with just enough grace to stir and soothe the consumers senses. It is cosmic but worldly–a perplexing sound. The cut possesses a considerably lo-fi resonance, done so with a purpose. Low fidelity recordings often have a chilling effect on its listener, it’s an archaic approach that plays with a film noir ripple.
Although Aguas Frescas 2 is not scheduled for release until August 26, the praise has already begun. The first single, “Canelo” was revered by Austin Town Hall:
“Musically, there is a feeling of pleasant meandering that courses through the song, a sense of learning, which would fit with the EP’s themes of growing older and reflecting upon life’s great meaning.”
Wildfires is engineering a hazy and intellectual sound, crowning them pioneers of a misunderstood, new genre. Shoegaze is on the rise. While there is much to capitalize on, Wildfires is setting a precedence for the future in regards to progressive music. As the musical melting pot continues to incubate, undiscovered and overlooked genres are preparing to change the world of music, starting with singles like “The Lame.”
(Photo Courtesy of Wildfires’ website.)