What will a new My Bloody Valentine album sound like, anyway? (plus: listen to MBV-influenced Philly musicians)

A big bomb dropped this morning for fans of loud amplifiers, effects pedals and that hypnotic musical genre known as shoegaze. Kevin Shields, singer and guitarist for My Bloody Valentine, told long-standing UK music news source NME that his band will release a new album by year’s end. The as-yet-untitled work would be available through Shields’ website, and would be followed up by an EP of even newer material.

This news is nothing short of staggering, considering that MBV’s last recorded work was the landmark record Loveless, released some 21 years ago back in November of 1991. Its blend of dissonance and agression with beauty and tranquility had no major parallels at the time, but went on to influence countless artists in the subsequent decades. You could hear the echo of Loveless in 90s acts like The Verve and Mazzy Star as well as 21st century rock demagogues Radiohead, all the way down to smaller-profile artists like Japancakes (who covered the album in its entirety in 2007), Black Angels and currently buzzing Baltimore outfit Secret Mountains.

So the question is – what is the band’s first album in 21 years going to sound like, anyway? Shields told NME that the engineers and musicians who have heard the record, which has been in the works since sometime the 90s, find it to be more far-out than Loveless. He doesn’t agree, however.

So does that mean it will merely be Loveless II? One would think that a band wouldn’t release its first album in 21 years unless it had something new to say / do, right? Even a bad My Bloody Valentine record would rule pretty hard…but what if the unthinkable happens and it is bad? Could it tarnish the legacy of Loveless? Are you excited or afraid to listen?

Ponder these questions, and let us know what you think in the comments below. And while you do that, check out an assortment of artists from our own local music community here in Philly that, one way or another, have drawn influence from My Bloody Valentine. Continue reading →


Former Mazarin frontman Quentin Stoltzfus debuts new band Light Heat at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery Aug. 24

Like many Philly music heads from the aughties, we were amped to hear that Quentin Stoltzfus was bringing his songrwiting back into the public ear. He recorded some of the most magical psych-rock this city has to offer in his band Mazarin, right until a wedding band from upstate New York with the same name presented him with a cease and desist order. After a six-year hiatus, Stoltzfus took the name Light Heat, began working with Alec Ounsworth and guys from The Walkmen, and picked right up where he left off. The track that made the rounds when it appeared on Soundcloud a month ago, “And the Birds,” rings out with a strumming acoustic guitar, a chiming piano, and layers and layers of sonic bliss. You can grab a free download of the song below, and hear a lot more in person when Light Heat makes its live debut on Friday, Aug. 24 at Center City’s Fleisher-Ollman Gallery for the closing reception of “A Complete Die, etc.”, a group exhibit curated by Philadelphia artist Anthony Campuzano.