Noise pop

Last updated

Noise pop is a subgenre of alternative or indie rock that developed in the mid-1980s in the United Kingdom and United States. It is defined by its mixture of dissonant noise or feedback with the songcraft more often found in pop music. [1] Shoegazing, another noise-based genre that developed in the 1980s, drew from noise pop.

Contents

History and characteristics

Noise pop has been described by AllMusic as "the halfway point between bubblegum and the avant-garde"; the combination of conventional pop songwriting with experimental sounds of white noise, distorted guitars and drones. Accordingly, the style "often has a hazy, narcotic feel, as melodies drift through the swirling guitar textures. But it can also be bright and lively, or angular and challenging." [1] AllMusic cites the Velvet Underground as the earliest roots of the genre, with their experiments with feedback and distortion on their early albums. [1]

Early American alternative rock bands like Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr., who mixed pop song structures with extreme guitar distortion and feedback, were immediate forerunners. The Jesus and Mary Chain's 1985 debut, Psychocandy , is considered by AllMusic to be the archetype for the noise pop genre ("pretty much birthed the style"). [1] Kareem Estefan of Stylus Magazine cited the album for "transforming the use of distortion in indie rock with its screeching abrasion, yet managing to feature some of the catchiest melodies of the 80s." [2]

Later in the 1980s, noise pop was a major inspiration for the British shoegazing movement. [1] Influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine started to experiment with a fusion of 1960s pop music and noise on their EP, The New Record by My Bloody Valentine , paving way to their forthcoming shoegazing sound. [3] Noise pop continued to be influential in the indie rock scene into the 1990s. [1]

In the 90s and 2000s, popular neo-psychedelia bands such as The Flaming Lips and later Animal Collective were big proponents of incorporating noise pop within their sound, especially on Animal Collective's Avey Tare and Panda Bear's acclaimed debut album Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished . [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

My Bloody Valentine (band) Irish alternative rock band

My Bloody Valentine are a rock band formed in Dublin in 1983. Since 1987, its lineup has consisted of founding members Kevin Shields and Colm Ó Cíosóig, with Bilinda Butcher and Debbie Googe (bass). Their music is best known for its merging of dissonant guitar textures, ethereal melody, and unorthodox production techniques. They helped to pioneer the alternative rock subgenre known as shoegazing during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock or "guitar pop rock". In the 1980s, the use of the term "indie" started to shift from its reference to recording companies to describe the style of music produced on punk and post-punk labels. During the 1990s, grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream, and the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning. The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock, and math rock. In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and a growing importance of the Internet enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

Alternative rock is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music.

Shoegazing is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s. It is characterized by its ethereal-sounding mixture of obscured vocals, guitar distortion and effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume. The term shoegazing was coined by the British music press to describe the stage presence of a wave of neo-psychedelic groups who stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state with their heads down. This was because the heavy use of effects pedals meant the performers were often looking down at the readouts on their pedals during concerts.

<i>Loveless</i> (album) 1991 studio album by My Bloody Valentine

Loveless is the second studio album by English-Irish rock band My Bloody Valentine. It was released on 4 November 1991 in the United Kingdom by Creation Records and in the United States by Sire Records. The album was recorded between February 1989 and September 1991, with vocalist and guitarist Kevin Shields leading sessions and experimenting with guitar vibrato techniques, tuning systems, samplers, and meticulous production methods. The band cycled through nineteen different studios and several engineers during the album's prolonged recording, with its production cost rumoured to have reached £250,000.

Band of Susans band

Band of Susans was an American alternative rock band formed in New York City in 1986 and active until 1996. It originally consisted of Robert Poss (guitar/vocals), Susan Stenger (bass/vocals), Ron Spitzer (drums), with Susan Lyall (guitar), Susan Tallman (guitar), and Alva Rogers (vocals). The band would undergo several permutations over the years, usually involving three guitarists. Poss, Stenger, and Spitzer were the band's core members throughout its duration. They originated in the New York noise rock scene, but due to their layered guitar sound were sometimes seen as the American counterparts to the UK shoegazing bands and also drew influence from modern experimental composers Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca.

<i>Psychocandy</i> 1985 studio album by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Psychocandy is the debut studio album by Scottish rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It was released in November 1985 on Blanco y Negro Records. The album is considered a landmark recording: its combination of guitar feedback with traditional pop song structures proved influential on the forthcoming shoegazing genre and alternative rock in general. The band moved from its abrasive sound with the release of their second album, 1987's Darklands.

<i>Isnt Anything</i> 1988 studio album by My Bloody Valentine

Isn't Anything is the debut studio album by English-Irish rock band My Bloody Valentine, released on 21 November 1988 by Creation Records. Its innovative guitar and production techniques consolidated the experimentation of the band's preceding EPs, and would make it a pioneering work of the subgenre known as shoegazing. Upon its release, the album received rave critical reviews and reached number one on the UK Independent Albums Chart.

<i>This Is Your Bloody Valentine</i> 1985 EP by My Bloody Valentine

This Is Your Bloody Valentine is the debut mini album by the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, released in January 1985 on Tycoon Records. Recorded in West Berlin, Germany, it features the band's early gothic rock and post-punk sound, which contrasts the shoegazing sound with which My Bloody Valentine are associated.

<i>The New Record by My Bloody Valentine</i> 1986 EP by My Bloody Valentine

The New Record by My Bloody Valentine is the second EP by the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, released in September 1986 on Kaleidoscope Sound. Recorded at Alaska Studios in London, the EP's sound is influenced by C86, a brand of indie pop, and diverges from the band's earlier post-punk sound.

Sunny Sundae Smile single by My Bloody Valentine

"Sunny Sundae Smile" is a song by the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine. It was released as a non-album single in February 1987 on Lazy Records. Recorded at Alaska Studios in London, "Sunny Sundae Smile" was the band's first release on Lazy Records and the final release to feature original vocalist David Conway.

<i>You Made Me Realise</i> 1988 EP by My Bloody Valentine

You Made Me Realise is the third extended play by alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, released on 8 August 1988 through Creation Records. It was their first record for Creation.

<i>Ecstasy</i> (My Bloody Valentine album) 1987 EP by My Bloody Valentine

Ecstasy is the second mini album by the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, released on 23 November 1987 on Lazy Records. Released in a limited edition of 3,000 copies, it was the band's final release for Lazy Records and second to feature vocalist and guitarist Bilinda Butcher, who was recruited in April 1987 following the departure of original My Bloody Valentine vocalist David Conway. Ecstasy followed the noise pop and twee pop standards of My Bloody Valentine's earlier releases for the label, drawing influence from various artists including The Jesus and Mary Chain, Love and The Byrds, and the album distanced the band further from their earlier post-punk and gothic rock sound.

Only Shallow song by My Bloody Valentine from Loveless

"Only Shallow" is a song by the shoegazing band My Bloody Valentine. It is the opening track and second single from the band's second studio album, Loveless (1991), released on Creation Records. Written by Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher, "Only Shallow" features Shields' distinctive guitar sound—a technique known as "glide guitar"—characterized by heavy use of a tremolo bar while strumming.

<i>Eccsame the Photon Band</i> 1994 studio album by Lilys

Eccsame the Photon Band is the second full-length 1994 album by the American indie rock band, Lilys, originally released on the spinART label. The album saw the band move towards dream pop. The notoriously nomadic Kurt Heasley refers to this period of Lilys history as EPOCH I, also included is his first seven-inch single " February Fourteenth", the mini LP A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns and Lilys' first full-length album, In The Presence of Nothing. Eccsame the Photon Band was recorded at Mike Deming's Studio 45 in Hartford, Connecticut, largely as duo of Heasley and Harold Evans.

<i>69</i> (album) 1988 studio album by A.R. Kane

69 is the debut album by British band A.R. Kane, released in 1988 on Rough Trade Records and produced by the band with additional co-production from Ray Shulman. Following the release of their acclaimed Lollita and Up Home! EPs, 69 developed the experimental "dream pop" style pioneered by the duo, blending elements of dub, acid rock, free jazz, and pop music. Music critic Martin C. Strong described the album's sound as "hard to pigeonhole yet seminal nevertheless."

Rollercoaster Tour album by Blur

The Rollercoaster Tour was a 1992 co-headlining concert tour by the English Britpop band Blur, the American indie rock band Dinosaur Jr., the Irish alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine and the Scottish noise pop band the Jesus and Mary Chain. A one-leg 11-date tour of the United Kingdom, the tour was in support of all four bands' current releases: Blur's debut album Leisure (1991), Dinosaur Jr.'s fourth album Green Mind (1991), My Bloody Valentine's second album Loveless (1991) and The Jesus and Mary Chain's fourth album Honey's Dead (1992).

Dumb Numbers

Dumb Numbers is the musical project of Adam Harding. Lou Barlow, Dale Crover, Bobb Bruno and others contributed to the first two studio albums. The band's roster for live shows fluctuates depending upon the touring schedule of members. Personnel who consistently appear onstage during Dumb Numbers shows include Harding, Murph, Bonnie Mercer, and Steve Patrick. They joined My Bloody Valentine as an opener to promote their debut record. David Lynch did the cover art for the first LP and Malcolm Bucknall provided artwork for the second album. Lynch and Harding released a seven inch split together on Joyful Noise Recordings in 2015. David Yow directed a video for the debut album's single which appeared at Rolling Stone.

<i>Beautiful Noise</i> (film) 2014 documentary film directed by Eric Green

Beautiful Noise is a 2014 American music documentary film, written and directed by Eric Green. The film documents three rock bands—Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine—and their influence on shoegazing and other alternative rock genres. Beautiful Noise features extracts from over 50 interviews with bands and artists, as well as archival footage and music videos.

Glide guitar

Glide guitar is a technique for playing guitar in which the player strums while holding the whammy bar, resulting in a pitch that wavers. It was developed by Irish musician Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine on the band's albums You Made Me Realise (1988) and Isn't Anything (1988). Shields often combined this technique with a reverse reverb effect from a Yamaha SPX90 unit, and would also tune two neighboring strings of his guitar to nearly the same pitch.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Noise Pop: Significant Albums, Artists and Songs, Most Viewed: AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  2. Estefan, Kareem (1 September 2003). "Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles". Stylus Magazine . Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  3. Abebe, Nitsuh. "My Bloody Valentine - The New Record by My Bloody Valentine". Allmusic . Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. "Animal Collective: Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 March 2020.