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Certain types of music were born to soundtrack snowstorms—-ambient electronica, Japanese minimalism, most songs by Galaxie 500. And of course: shoegaze.
Of course, making music for a snowstorm and during one are entirely different endeavors. For the former, the goal has to be atmosphere, often in the form of noisy, ethereal soundscapes conjured via a critical mass of effects pedals and overdubs. For the latter: You’re lucky if you can power your amp.
So it makes a lot of sense that Tennis System‘s Matthew Taylor says he’s spent the last few days writing and recording songs that split the difference between My Bloody Valentine and Guided by Voices. Some might call that shitgaze. I’m proposing a different, limited-use appellation: snowgaze.
Example A: “Snowden,” a new Tennis System song that Taylor sent me last night. The guitars are assaultive and enveloping, but scrappy; the vocals—-sad, spacey, and slightly drawled—-offer a meditation on watching snowfall from inside a cold house. Which, you know, could be a metaphor for the sobering vastness of existence. Or maybe not.
DOWNLOAD: Tennis System – “Snowden”[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/files/2010/02/snowden.mp3]
Image courtesy of Tennis System’s MySpace page