First up is the fab new record from once-and-apparently-future Swervedriver main man Adam Franklin and his more recent outfit, Bolts of Melody. "Black Horses" brings some much-needed storminess back to Franklin's songs and it's a solid album from start to finish! Franklin's voice has never sounded this supple and the Bolts' backing is perfect for this set of tunes. Excellent!
Just announced and slated to hit these shores just as the leaves start to turn and the air fills with chill, Black Hearted Brother is the new band from Neil Halstead, formerly of the seminal Slowdive, the countrier (is that a word?) Mojave 3, and most recently exploring a Bert Jansch-like solo career. This kicks up more dust than Halstead has in years, and is an exciting appetizer for a record that holds the possibility of being a more garage-rock take on the shoegaze genre.
Last but certainly not least is the American entree in to the shoegaze sweepstakes, the until-recently-defunct and missed Medicine. Just released, "To The Happy Few" finds Medicine leader Brad Laner (also a moderator of the fantastic Dangerous Minds website) reuniting with classic-lineup vocalist Beth Thompson and drummer Jim Goodall after almost 20 years apart. Fans of 1995's "Her Highness" will find a lot to love here!
All of this on top of the surprise return of My Bloody Valentine earlier this year...2013 looks like it might possibly be the "year of the 'gaze" yet!