Houston is one of many cities that has experienced growth in its shoegaze scenes. Like many other modern musical acts, a sense of nostalgia and revivalist elements fuel the growing movement, with other metropolitan areas in the state, such as Austin, having similar pockets in their music scenes. Driven by a pursuit to create more engaging and interesting soundscapes driven by effects pedals and melodic overtures, a few acts have made their name as they have entered Houston’s rising shoegaze scene.
When discussing the prominent acts in the Houston shoegaze scene, one would be amiss not to mention El Lago. In reality, El Lago is based out of Galveston island, nearly an hour outside of Houston. But, wife and husband Lauren and Charlie Eddy, who both lead the band, have helped to create a vibrant music scene — on the island as well as in Houston. The group was actively gigging in the city for a couple of years before the release of their debut LP Colors in 2017. With notable bangers such as “Into the Clearing” and “Devotion,” the group made itself known. Their follow-up EP “Pyramids” was another excellently crafted opus, continuing the group’s unique variety of jammy, Sonic Youth-esque arrangements.
Dreampop four-piece Velveteen Echo exudes an intimate variety of ‘90s alt-rock. The group has made moves in recent years with the release of their debut EP Submarine in 2018. The band has appeared on some pretty stellar lineups as of late, including opening up for Lorelle Meets the Obsolete. Their followup release, 2020’s Golden Ring, provides a more enveloping look into their sound. Notable tracks from their latest EP include “Nuclear Family” and “With You,” which feature minimalist, melody-driven compositions.
Daze exhibits a grungier and more authentic variety of shoegaze, reminiscent of a punkier, edgier sound. The group’s aesthetic is very Warp Tour circa 2009 but with dreamier soundscapes to counteract the driving compositions. Rought with distortion and hazy, reverb-soaked vocals, Daze has risen to make a name for itself playing a flurry of shows in Houston and Austin. The group made its debut with their EP Ritual in 2018, and has released two follow-up singles in 2019, “Vacio” and “Ariez // Pisces.”
Angel Aura is true to the mainstays of the genre, culminating in a sound that is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. The powerful and entrancing songs exude a dominating presence as vocalist Wendolyne Barrios lures the listener into a sense of intoxicated satisfaction. Bursting onto the local scene with their debut singles “Samsara” and “Crytal Inn,” the group’s EP Sensum solidified their hold in the local shoegaze scene. Embracing a more new-age integration of traditional psych, the group holds resonance with more a heady and psychedelic crowd.