you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

29 December 2011

Merchandise: WTSH Limited Edition Posters for Sale.

The time hath come: When The Sun Hits merchandise is now for sale!

The posters below are each a Limited Run of 20. These special edition posters will be numbered and printed on heavy matte cardstock, so they look extremely nice. They are approximately 12x12 and are $7.50 apiece. The money we receive from these sales goes directly into our WTSH fund, which is used to pay our writers and plan awesome things for our readers. Please allow 3-4 business days for processing. Photography by Amber Crain.

To order, go to the right sidebar, under "Merchandise".
International orders - there will be a slightly higher shipping fee.

Be the first to get yourself some gaze swag from When The Sun Hits! More merchandise coming soon.

WTSH001: Limited Edition Poster - Green & Blue.



















WTSH002: Limited Edition Poster - Wine & Fuchsia.























Album Review: Screen Vinyl Image. Strange Behavior.

When The Sun Hits
Reviews
Strange Behavior
.

Reviewed by: Nikki Roszko.

Artist: Screen Vinyl Image.
Album Title:
Strange Behavior.
Record Label: Custom Made Music.


Screen Vinyl Image, Kim and Jake Ried, a husband wife duo from Arlington, formed in 2007 from what was Alcian Blue. Since then, they have been a very industrious pair. Three LPs -- Interceptors (2009), Ice Station (2010) and now Strange Behavior (2011) along with a variety of split seven inches and EPs have kept them busy.

From the start, SVI set out on an expedition into the darker side of shoegaze. Or maybe they brought shoegaze to the Hacienda with Ian Curtis spastically twitching on a stage that turns out to be a club floor on industrial goth night. Whichever route they took, they ended up with a racing, haunting, echoing, reverb-drenched sound that is felt throughout their catalogue. Played at the right volume (loud, very loud) the sonic riot can put an already predisposed mind into an altered state. This is a very good thing (if you like altered states).


SVI. Station 4.

Strange Behavior is somewhat of a departure for SVI. While Jake’s vocals are still heavily drenched in reverb, on the first track “We Don’t Belong,” they seem to come up for air and more to the forefront. This trend continues on and off throughout the album. The thick fuzz-bass strips down for a while, resurfacing later, usually in tandem with the throbbing bass drum. Other sonic elements follow suit, allowing room for each to have its moment. They use this room to play more with the tension between its instruments.

The song that I really keep coming back to is “My Confession.” Maybe it’s the startling introduction of the very present acoustic guitar, but this song has an Angels of Light intensity to it. Jake’s voice, which drops an octave or two, picks up some serious delay, giving the song a morose, almost funereal quality. Yum! The acoustic guitar continues through Station #4, in which its stark contrast against the tachycardic drum beat and 80s synth melodies have a more of a Cure-like component, which although still melancholic, is more danceable.


SVI. My Confession.

And hey, if you’re looking for a darkwave rave, “Rx” brings it back. Fuzz base, check! Throbbing bass drum, check! Dance floor polyrhythms (hey, tambourine, I’m looking at you), check! And yeah, the cool, saturated vocals, check again! The final track, “Night Trip” is a bit of a tease, but one that summates Strange Behavior eloquently. At first you think you might still be on the dance floor, but it pulls you right back, intermingling sad melodies with a jittering rhythm section. Like Strange Behavior it pits nakedness and space against SVI’s familiar excessiveness and comes through with the goods.


28 December 2011

Tonight! When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Hosted by DJ Amber Crain.

Heads up, local folks, that's 9pm-10pm CST! Tonight!

Come join me this Wednesday for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. When The Sun Hits is one full hour of distilled shoegazey goodness, so black out the windows, grab your headphones, and go down the rabbit hole this Wednesday night on Strangeways Radio.

Expect to hear a mixed bag of classics and new stuff...

Don't forget to log in to the Strangeways chatroom during the show to hang out with me and many other awesome people while we talk about the music that is airing in real time and god knows what else...

Tune in live every Wednesday, 10pm-11pm (EST), for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Join us in the Strangeways chat room for additional entertainment!

Stream it here: http://www.strangewaysradio.com/



"When The Sun Hits: Many nude pelvic thrusts will be made tomorrow evening in honor of bad ass music." - David Goffan

New Video Debut: The Spiracles. Fireflies.


We've been anxiously awaiting the release of The Spiracles' How Things Went Well When I Met You EP, which is due out 1/24/2012 via Saint Marie Records (you can pre-order it HERE)...but until that day comes, we'll make due with the DEBUT video for the wonderful track "Fireflies" that we just received from the record label...ENJOY!



Tomorrow: Screen Vinyl Image's "Strange Behavior" Reviewed by Nikki Roszko.

We already know it's bad ass, but we want to read it in good soundin' english - TOMORROW - Nikki Roszko's review of Screen Vinyl Image's new album, Strange Behavior, goes live! Until then, enjoy the video...

27 December 2011

Interview: Aidan Baker of Nadja.

When The Sun Hits
Interviews
Aidan Baker of Nadja

Interview by Amber Crain

Aidan Baker is a musician and writer currently based in Toronto, Canada. Classically trained in flute, he is self-taught on guitar, drums and various other instruments. Baker (guitars/vocals/drum programming) is also one half of the band Nadja, along with Leah Buckareff (bass/vocals). Originally formed in 2003 as a Baker solo project, the now-duo creates ambient-shoegazey-drone-metal, combining ambient electronics & fragmentary vocals with snail-crawl, epic riffs & dirge-like percussion. To date, Nadja has released over 10 full-length albums, in addition to various EPs, splits, and collaborations. Baker himself has released numerous albums on independent labels from around the world and is the author of two books of poetry, two poetry chapbooks and has published poetry, fiction and criticism in various international and scholarly journals. When The Sun Hits is understandably thrilled to bring you the following interview with a very talented and enigmatic person - Aidan Baker of Nadja.


How and when was Nadja formed?

I originally formed Nadja a solo, studio-based project in 2003 to explore the heavier, noiser side of drone music (compared to the more ambient, mellower music I make under my own name). Leah joined on bass in 2005 to bring the project out of the studio and perform live.

Can you tell us what you and the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?

We will be touring Japan for the first time at the end of January, then a short European tour in March, and a Scandinavian tour in May. As for releases, we have a few re-issues planned plus a 2CD compilation of vinyl-only or limited release tracks coming out with Important Records in the new year. We are currently working on a new full-length album that will hopefully be out by the end of 2012.

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?

We don't really feel to be part of any specific scene, since our music tends to span a few different genres. We tend to fit more into the metal or noise/experimental scenes, though, than the
shoegaze/dream pop -- although people often consider us too metal to be noise or too experimental to be metal. Defining one's work, and all music in general, by genre is ridiculous and limiting -- music is more interesting when it spans multiple genres.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?

To be frank, I tend to listen to older shoegaze/dream pop bands...but in terms of modern psychedelia or drone acts, though, some favorites are Date Palms, Expo '70, Thisquietarmy, Natural Snow Buildings...

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

I guess my Akai Headrush looping pedal is pretty integral to my sound. But as much as I rely on pedals, it's technique not technology that should make the musician.

What is your process for recording your music? What gear and/or software do you use? What would you recommend for others?

We record in our home studio on a laptop, previously using Cubase but we recently switched to Logic (though we're still trying to figure out how the work the program). We generally record live and use the computer mainly for arranging and mixing and not for generating or
effecting sounds.


Nadja. Veil of Disillusion.


How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

Hopefully, the changing music industry will mean the end of the parasitic major label and give artists more freedom and ability to earn a living on their own. It would be nice if the commercialism of the music industry changed, but that seems unlikely in the immediate future. Perhaps it is in the indie scene, but the mainstream music industry is still too concerned about profits and marketability. Of course, indie record labels and musicians have a right to be
compensated for what they produce, but I think society needs to re-assess how they consume music before that can happen in a fair and meaningful way.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?


Both are equally fine -- it really depends on the individual label and/or artist and the way they operate.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

I think each format has its own legitimacy for different reasons. Apart from cassettes -- I see little value in them.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?

Here are a few: Caspar Brotzmann, Justin Broadrick, James Plotkin, Vini Reilly, PJ Harvey, Mark Kozelek, Adam Franklin, Alan Sparhawk, Glenn Branca, Michael Gira, etc.

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?

I'm concurrently (re-)reading Steve Erickson 's Tours of the BlackClock, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, and David Foster Wallace's The Pale King. Some recent listening: Kate Bush, Red House Painters, Rollins Band, Lenny Breau, Fugazi. I can't remember the last really good film I saw...

If you had to choose one
Nadja track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?

I guess "Stays Demons" since it features a little bit of everything that encompasses our sound: heaviness, melodicism, noise, drone, darkness, prettiness...


Nadja. Stays Demons.

Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

We usually start with a few basic riffs and build the drums tracks around those riffs. We then put the song together allowing for textural and largely improvisational passages.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Grin and bear it.



22 December 2011

WTSH is Expanding - Would You Like to Help?

Tis the season - to dream big (we gazers are very good at the dreaming bit...) and to make it happen. When The Sun Hits has been gearing up for expansion for months, and starting in January 2012, we are taking the blog to the next level. We weren't expecting to grow so quickly or so fast (or at all, ever, really) but here we are.

Starting in 2012, WTSH will be expanding our number of staff writers, whom we plan to pay, because they deserve it. We will also be selling merchandise of all sorts - posters, pin badges, t-shirts and special edition compilations are just a FEW items we'll be offering our readers in the very near future. Cool, right? By mid-2012, expect to be able to buy the very first special edition PRINT version of WTSH, which is going to be RAD. We have even more surprises planned for the coming year, but we'll remain hush hush about those. :)

It is now possible, via Paypal, to donate as little or as much as you'd like (or none!) to our blog fund. The money will go toward maintaining the site, paying our writers, getting merchandise made, bringing WTSH to print, planning festivals, supporting musicians and more. You can click on the Donate button in the right sidebar of the blog, and you will always find that same button located in that same place, if you'd like to give in the future. We don't want to muck up the blog with adverts and such (plus we advertise the shit we like for FREE, that's just how we do), so a donation fund seemed like a better idea.

Thank you to everyone - gazers all over the globe - for reading and supporting us. We are beyond humbled by all of it. Happy Holidays, Gazers.


21 December 2011

Tonight! When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Hosted by DJ Amber Crain.

Heads up, local folks, that's 9pm-10pm CST! Wednesday night!

Come join me this Wednesday for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. When The Sun Hits is one full hour of distilled shoegazey goodness, so black out the windows, grab your headphones, and go down the rabbit hole this Wednesday night on Strangeways Radio.

Expect to hear cuts from The Prids, This Mortal Coil, The Stargazer Lilies - and a LOT more.

Don't forget to log in to the Strangeways chatroom during the show to hang out with me and many other awesome people while we talk about the music that is airing in real time and god knows what else...

Tune in live every Wednesday, 10pm-11pm (EST), for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Join us in the Strangeways chat room for additional entertainment!

Stream it here: http://www.strangewaysradio.com/

"When The Sun Hits: Many nude pelvic thrusts will be made tomorrow evening in honor of bad ass music." - David Goffan

20 December 2011

Interview: Be Forest.

When The Sun Hits Interviews
Be Forest.
Interview by Rob Turner.

Be Forest is Costanza Delle Rose, Erica Terenzi, and Nicola Lampredi. Be Forest's sound is a clear and cold breath that comes from winter. It is not a memory, not a revival. There’s the same dark and dazzling shock that still shakes the feedback of their restless guitars, that bounces in their dark drums, which sparkles in the icy glare of that voice. A perfectly balanced sound, between the extent of absolute cold and the full passion of their songs. From the first moment hearing the band's 2011 album Cold, When The Sun Hits absolutely adored Be Forest. Enjoy the interview!

How and when was Be Forest formed?
Costanza: Be Forest was born in April 2010. Nicola and I had already decided to build a very minimal band from the point of view of the sound and the tools to use; however, things were not going in the right direction so we decided to call a third element, Erica, who complete our initial idea. That's how Be Forest was born.


Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?
Nicola: After our album, Cold (released in March with WWNBB) and a moderately successful European tour, we are working on new songs. We do not know exactly when the songs will be released but we do not think very quickly. Cosa vuoi dire? Obviously we didn’t leave the stage, not yet. In a bit we will pull the plug to devote entirely to composing.

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?
Erica: We play our music without worrying too much about categorizing our stuff. Music is music and musical genres are just conventions to describe a band to persons who are too lazy to listen to it.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

Costanza: Among us, Nicola is the most meticulous. He can’t play without his Fender DeVille and his pedals. Erica and I can adapt more easily to other instruments.

How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?
Costanza: In our, opinion that radical change is not positive at all. Of course, the music with Internet has become more easily accessible from all over the world. Anyone can illegally buy music...For musicians and labels it's not too nice...

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?
Nicola: I prefer cds and vinyl. I have only original music, and I have downloads from the internet …

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?
We are not inspired by a particular artist. We have a completely different musical path so it’s difficult to define what’s the common thread that brought us to do certain stuff in music...

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?
Erica: We can say that we identify in the Sophia Coppola's film "The Virgin Suicides," in the Witkin’s photographs and in the Modigliani’s portraits. What else can we say?

If you had to choose one Be Forest track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?
“Buck and crow” or maybe “Florence” but we don’t know why… We feel more connected to these two songs.


Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

Costanza: First of all, the music. Just after finishing a song we (Erica and I) write the lyrics, completely subordinated to the music.

What goals did you have for the band in 2011?
We have already reached - and exceeded - our goal for 2011. Now we just think to 2012 and the end of the world, too!

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?
Our philosophy of life is "the secret", the interpretation is up to you.

19 December 2011

Track Spotlight: Matt Bartram. October Song.

We love Matt Bartram. This song is from 2009's "Left to Memory". It isn't new - but it's amazing. Check out the whole album on bandcamp!


Interview: Etienne Mamo of Dead Parties.

When The Sun Hits
Interviews
Etienne Mamo of Dead Parties.
Interview by Amber Crain

Dead Parties is Etienne Mamo (guit vox) Marty Umanski (guit vox) Arni Rey Paras (guit vox percussion) Francis Mezza (Bass) Tim Martino (drums). Dead Parties is the musical project of Etienne Mamo, singer and songwriter for The New Black. With this band he has toured the east coast of Australia, has several releases and received airplay nationally, including rotation on Triple J. In 2007 The New Black were nominees for the Music Oz Song of The Year and Band Of The Year.

Dead Parties sees Etienne explore his shoegaze/indie roots, experimenting with layered guitars, vocals, percussion and noise. The first single to be released, "In Dreams Of Decadence," will be included on the upcoming Psychedelica 5 later this year through Northern Star Records (UK). When The Sun Hits has chosen a track from Dead Parties to be on the upcoming 200,000 Gazes compilation (which will be released Jan. 1, 2012) so that's how much we think they are awesome! Without further ado, here's Etienne Mamo of Dead Parties.

How and when was the band formed?

I was playing in The New Black and found that I was writing a lot that we didn’t have time to work on. That band was also becoming more collaborative and pushing in a different direction style wise. So in 2010 I started putting down all these new songs using Garageband and then Logic. This blew open the doors to my writing, coz for the first time I was able to complete songs without having to wait for each member to put down their parts. I was also writing songs that were very reverby and effected, and I was layering all these guitars, creating a dreamy shoegazey sound. It wasn’t really what The New Black was doing and so in 2011 Dead Parties was born.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?

I put together a band this year and we launched the first single in Melbourne in May. I’m currently recording and mixing songs for an upcoming release. I’d love to release an album but it’s quite costly, particularly coz it’s essentially a solo project. "In Dreams Of Decadence" is going to be released as part of a psychedelia compilation early 2012 through Northern Star Records.

Do you consider the music of Dead Parties to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?

Yeah I do, but it’s not intentional. People have labeled Dead Parties psychedelic or shoegaze, but they’re both such broad genres. I love layered guitar and effects that are used to move you emotionally. It certainly isn’t hero guitar music. At heart there’s always a pop song, something catchy that progresses. I’m into anything that catches my ear, whether it’s reggae, 70s country or 90s shoegaze. I think genres are a good starting point, then you can dig deeper and find what’s at the heart of each band. Then you can ask yourself, is it genuine? I relish discovering a new band that ‘wakes’ me up.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?

It’s all good. Anything that’s pushing that style of music is gonna get my interest coz it’s an antidote to everything that’s thrown at us via commercial radio. In Australia there’s a revival of all things shoegaze/indie with bands like The Laurels, Iowa, Gosteleradio and The Demon Parade. I’m loving a couple of bands at the moment from Europe – 93millionmilesfromthesun and Youngteam. Awesome stuff.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

I’ve had my trusty green ts-9 and rat combo from the start. I’ve got an amazing shape shifter tremolo by Seymour Duncan that can really fuck with your sound, as well as a couple of boss reverb and delay pedals. I’m loving oscillations so I bought a rotary pedal recently and also a POG.

How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

What music industry? If you mean people setting up makeshift studios and creating music then sure, but I think it’s common knowledge that the big companies are dying; in their current format anyway. The best thing is that power has been handed to the artist, in that anyone can record music and put it out there, and that there are small labels that are helping these artists reach a wider audience, or more accurately, their audience. People are discovering new artists everyday via the internet and social networking and going to see them play live. It’s all positive.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?

You need it all. In effect the artist has become the label also. The role played by small labels is extremely important because it gives the artist time to work on their music. But if you haven’t got a label behind you then it’s up to you to get your music out there.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

Mp3 is incredibly portable, so it wins there. But nothing beats the crackle of vinyl. As a kid I used to listen to cassette a lot, so it has a soft spot in my heart…cd is probably the most annoying coz they scratch so easily.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?

Where to start…The Beatles gave me pop, the Stones gave me grit, Teenage Fanclub and The Beach Boys showed me how to harmonize, My Bloody Valentine taught me about layering guitars, The Doors gave me a soundtrack, BJM helped me fall in love with music again, and Mazzy Star kept me dreaming.

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?

I’m reading Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, one of those classics I missed. I’m watching a lot on Bill Hicks, what an amazingly beautiful soul. I’m currently living in Barcelona so I’m digging all the Dali and Gaudi works. Mindblowing actually. Hallucinogens anyone?

If you had to choose one Dead Parties track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?

Tribe. It’s really fuzzy with big string bends that sound like sirens. I guess it captures that feeling of not knowing what’s coming next. Anxiety versus anticipation. It talks about the way people come into your life, play a pivotal role in who you are and then drop away. It’s looking back while moving forward. I like that.

Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

I usually always come up with a melody or idea for a riff, then work on that. Meanwhile some lyrics will fall into place. I find walking helps me write. I also like to listen to the song before sleeping, coz I’ll often wake with an idea for it.

What is the band’s goal for 2011?

Finish mixing six songs, perhaps have the other 6 mostly recorded so we can release something in the first quarter of 2012 and tour.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Be kind. To never compromise your first love. No matter what’s at stake, if you have a burning desire for something, do it.

http://www.myspace.com/deadparties
http://www.soundcloud.com/deadparties


18 December 2011

Track Spotlight: 2 Hearts and Chemicals. Slower.


Check out 2 Hearts and Chemicals' amazing track "Slower".

Listen, be blown away, purchase (its only $1!), repeat.
Enjoy! Click here to be taken to the bands' bandcamp page.




Video: Active Child. I'm in Your Church at Night (School of Seven Bells remix).


Video: Secret Colours. Faust.


Review: Haunted Leather. Desert Spells.

When The Sun Hits
Reviews
Haunted Leather's Desert Spells
Reviewed by Jason M. Miller

Band: Haunted Leather
Album: Desert Spells
Release Date: 2011

When the word "Desert" is used in a band’s name, song title or in the case of the group Haunted Leather, their album’s name; a distinct atmosphere is usually evoked.

An atmosphere of mystery, desolation, distance, sparse landscapes, harshness and the raw beauty that is the desert; all these things describe the album, Desert Spells by the trio that call themselves Haunted Leather (and it doesn't hurt that the guitarist and vocalist is named "Dusty" either).

The seven compositions on their album are a journey through a mystical landscape of fuzz and wah-wah guitar solos, plus plodding drums and distorted bass tones that are surrounded by hazy, distant vocals that reverberate amongst the instruments like a desert night wind. The band is from Michigan, so they obviously have some secret methods and concoctions that they use to conjure up this musical mind warp!

Each song leads to the next in a seamless manner that takes you deeper into the psychedelic expedition that is Desert Spells. Once again, if you think the combination of guitar/bass/drums is played out, Haunted Leather will make you reconsider. Bang your head slowly and forcefully to the music of Haunted Leather, while you tag along on their desert trip!

You can download their album at http://hauntedleather.bandcamp.com/.

By Jason M. Miller



16 December 2011

When The Sun Hits Welcomes New Staff Writer Nikki Roszko.

You all know her as one half of the awesome band 2060 Chiron (with Jonathan Allen, also of Music for Headphones), and now When The Sun Hits is lucky enough to have the beautiful and intelligent Nikki Roszko on board as our newest staff writer! Thanks for joining the family, Nikki. :)



15 December 2011

200,000 Gazes Compilation Update - Release Date Officially set for January 1, 2012 via Bandcamp.






















Update: Due to an unprecedented number of submissions (over 200! Seriously!), When The Sun Hits is still compiling the double volume 200,000 Gazes compilation. We are all working hard, and we are FOR SURE (we swear) releasing it on January 1, 2012. 200,000 Gazes will be the first rad release of 2012! We are looking forward to starting out the new year with such an awesome offering. Thanks to all the bands who submitted - your collective talents have made choosing the bands for the compilation difficult indeed!

Read below for more info.

When The Sun Hits is now closing in on 200,000 blog views! If you were around for the first 100,000, you know that we had a big celebration with fun events and posts, as well as created an exclusive compilation of donated tracks, which had a VERY large circulation.

For the past several months, we have been taking submissions from bands for the release of our next compilation, 200,000 Gazes.

The compilation was meant to be released on November 19th, celebrating it's release with a party during the XD Festival in Chicago that night.

We cannot take any more submissions, so please don't ask. We apologize, but we have already received close to 200 submissions (whoa!), so we want to be fair. The upside to postponing the release of 200,00 Gazes is now we can do what we had originally wanted to do - release 200,000 Gazes: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. That's right, TWO full albums of some of the best shoegaze and dream pop being made on the planet, hands down. Both volumes will be released on Tuesday, December 10th, 2011 as free downloads on bandcamp. We will also be re-issuing our previous compilation, The First 100,000, on bandcamp on that same day. We have some surprises in store, so stay tuned!!

RELEASE DATE FOR 200,000 GAZES: VOL 1 & 2 - January 1, 2012


Have any questions? Email whenthesunhitsblog@gmail.com with a title of "ATTN AMBER: compilation questions" and I will answer them. Don't message me, Danny, Rob, or WTSH via FB about this.

14 December 2011

Tonight! When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Hosted by DJ Amber Crain.

Tonight: When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. When The Sun Hits is one full hour of distilled shoegazey goodness, so black out the windows, grab your headphones, and go down the rabbit hole this Wednesday night on Strangeways Radio.

Expect to hear cuts from Nadja, Loop, and Deepfieldview - and a LOT more.

Don't forget to log in to the Strangeways chatroom during the show to hang out with me and many other awesome people while we talk about the music that is airing in real time and god knows what else...

Tune in live every Wednesday, 10pm-11pm (EST), for When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Join us in the Strangeways chat room for additional entertainment!

Stream it here: http://www.strangewaysradio.com/

"When The Sun Hits: Many nude pelvic thrusts will be made tomorrow evening in honor of bad ass music." - David Goffan

New Video: Screen Vinyl Image. Night Trip.

Hell yes! Taken from the brand new LP Strange Behavior.

13 December 2011

New Morpheme Single: Pandemic.



Free Download: Skygazers and Dreamchasers Compilation.

This is absolutely amazing. Bravo and well done, one of the best compilations this year, hands down! Download it for absolutely free, share it with your friends, sing its praises, you get the idea!

side a



side b

Interview: deardarkhead.

When The Sun Hits Interviews deardarkhead
Interview by Amber Crain

Formed in 1988, deardarkhead are a trio based in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area consisting of: guitarist Kevin Harrington, drummer Robert Weiss and bassist Kevin McCauley, who came on board during the fall of 2010 after the departure of longtime singer/bassist Michael Amper. The band takes its name from an anonymously written Irish poem of the 18th century Cean Dubh Dilis, about a beautiful girl with black hair.

The group’s sound is openly and proudly Anglophilic, combining both elements of the blissout shoegazer scene and a slightly older vein of post-punk guitar experimentalism, making a rich combination between the two influences. Words like "atmospheric", "ethereal" and "dreampop" are often used to describe their original guitar driven, psychedelic storm of sound that balances moody textures and shimmering melodies.

They have played with the likes of Supergrass, The Psychedelic Furs, Everclear and The Lilys, to name a few. deardarkhead has released five recordings since their formation on their own Fertile Crescent Records label. Their music has also appeared on various indie compilations from the USA and Japan.

When The Sun Hits is proud to present to you an interview with Kevin Harrington, Robert Weiss, and Kevin McCauley of deardarkhead. The band simultaneously represents the very best of the classic shoegaze movement and the contemporary one - their sound is timeless and beautiful. If you haven't heard of deardarkhead yet, now is the time.

How and when was the band formed?

Rob Weiss: I started deardarkhead in 1988 (after my first band Aslan's Pride broke up) with friends: Kurt Douglass (guitar), Blakely Parent (guitar and vocals) and Josh Minor (bass). Our first recording was a 7 song demo tape called "Greetings From The Infernal Village" which we recorded by ourselves on a 4 track. We all had very similar taste in music. We wanted to sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain meets the Cocteau Twins...dreamy yet noisy. I think there's also a strong Cure, Bauhaus and Joy Division influence on those early songs. After that we went through some personnel changes, but have had fairly stable lineups over the long haul. Michael Amper joined the band as our vocalist around 1990 and also played keyboard, bass and guitar...he left at the end of 2009. Blakely moved over to bass after Mike joined and was with us until 1994. Kevin Harrington became our guitarist after Kurt left in 1992 and has been in the band ever since.

Kevin Harrington: This is kind of a funny story, to me at least. As Rob had stated, Blakely was part of the band. Well Blakely and I actually graduated from high school together. I remember meeting Blakely for the first time and he told me about being in a band. He went on to tell me that he was in this band, kind of like the Cure and that they may be the next big thing and that he may not be here tomorrow. Well, my friends and I looked at each other, laughed and walked away. I thought it was pretty funny at the time, however the memory stuck with me for some reason. We eventually became friends at school, but I never saw him after graduation. Imagine my surprise when I auditioned for DDH and there was Blakely! Needless to say we had a few laughs about it! It's funny how things work out.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?

Rob Weiss: Currently deardarkhead has been playing out live as an instrumental three piece consisting of: guitarist Kevin Harrington, myself on drums and bassist Kevin McCauley, who came on board during the fall of 2010 after the departure of our longtime singer/bassist Michael Amper in 2009. We are still seeking the right person to take over on vocals but we've been having a hard time finding a good fit.

Prior to Amper leaving, we had been in the process of working on a new recording, which he was engineering. It's currently in limbo 12/for the moment, but we would like to finish things up and release it at some point. It's mainly an issue of funding and getting things to sound correctly.

Also Captured Tracks from Brooklyn is putting out a retrospective of our early material called Oceanside:1991-1993, which will be released at the end of November. We're very excited to have those songs exposed to a new and larger audience.

Beyond that we've been working on new material and would love to get some of that recorded and released...so if there are any labels out there that might be interested, hit us up!


deardarkhead. Rollercoaster.

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?

Rob Weiss: We started in 1988, just prior to people heavily using the shoegazer or dream pop tag. Initially we identified with post-punk/indie/underground bands mainly from the UK. We're certainly fans of the shoegaze/dream pop genre and at this point it's a convenient descriptive to let people know what we sound like. At the end of the day we're a rock band that plays very atmospheric music which is melodic, dreamy and often loud or noisy. We'd like to think we bring our own unique take to the genre. In general, genres are convenient but we don't really worry about it too much. The main thing is good music. As Shakespeare said: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"...

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?

Rob Weiss: So many great bands out there! Ringo Deathstarr, The Depreciation Guild, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Ulrich Schnauss, Blonde Redhead, Pinkshinyultrablast, Nothing, The Sky Drops, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Wild Nothing, Exit Calm are a few favorites that come to mind.

Kevin Harrington: I think it's great that there are so many modern shoegaze/dreampop bands to check out these days. Ulrich Schnauss, Destroyer, The Mercury Program, MGMT, Passion Pit, The High Violets, Helen Stellar, Wild Nothing are some bands I've been listening to lately.

Kevin McCauley: I agree with Rob, there are so many great bands. The Sky Drops, Nothing, Mira, Chapterhouse, Morpheme...all bands I can listen to over and over and each time I hear something new.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

Rob Weiss: The guitars and the effects are a huge part of our sound. It's something we spend a lot of time on. I use Tama drums and Paiste cymbals primarily. When I'm writing and recording demos I use a Japanese reproduction Mosrite Ventures guitar.

Kevin Harrington: That would definitely be my Digitech 2101 artist. It allows me do pretty much whatever I need or want to do sound wise. Our songs rely on major sound changes from section to section for different dynamics. I spend a lot of time on the sounds for each song to keep it interesting. Once I have everything programed for each song it's great, I just power up and we're ready to go. I've been using the 2101's for all our live and studio work since 95-96. They've been out of production for quite a few years now so I have to be careful with them. I'm powering that with a Mesa Boogie 50/50 which allows me to send everything out in stereo. I've used a variety of guitars over the years; a modified Ibanez Roadstar, a Gibson 335, a 12 string Fender Strat, a modified Squire Strat, an Ibanez Iceman (Paul Stanley of course), and recently a modified Les Paul Pro.

Kevin McCauley: The effects and the textures they create are definitely integral to our sound. When I first joined the band, I was just using a severe amount of compression on the bass but more recently have been experimenting with a multi fx processor. As for my bass itself, it is a Fender Mark Hoppus Signature Jazz Bass. It is not the most well behaved bass guitar, it has no tone control so it requires some special attention with my amp's eq, but the sound is really unique as basses go.


deardarkhead. One of a Kind.

What is your process for recording your music? What gear and/or software do you use? What would you recommend for others?

Rob Weiss: Most of our recordings have been done with as little studio trickery as possible. We go in and try to do a song in a few takes as if we were playing a show. We do the occasional over dub as needed if we really like a take. The vocals are usually redone after the music, just to get a better isolated sound. We have mainly recorded on reel to reel tape, but the last thing we were working on was all digital, using a Mac with Logic Pro. There are certainly many benefits of working digitally. Once you have a recording down there are practically infinite options for the production. That said, I don't think there's a right or wrong way to go about it. It's really an individual choice that each band needs to make. Trying different things is the best way to educate yourself.

How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

Rob Weiss: The internet has obviously been a huge game changer, both for good and bad. The upside is it's easier for an artist to get their music out there now. Music fans can be anywhere and use the net to find out about super-obscure bands. The downside is that it's very easy to get lost in the crowd with so much music being out there. Also I think people aren't willing to spend as much on music as they used to. Record stores are having a very hard time these days.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?

Rob Weiss: It's always great when a label is willing to put money behind a good band, but the main thing is that the music gets out there. We've put out all of our releases on our own, so being unsigned shouldn't prevent you from making music.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

Rob Weiss: I used to work in record stores for a very long time, so I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to music! I like all formats, but these days I do tend to listen to MP3's, but mainly out of convenience. Being a graphic designer I like vinyl and cds for their sleeve artwork possibilities. Digital formats are great for their ease of use. After you start getting a large collection, storage becomes an issue. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the physical format. I spent a lot of time traveling to cool record stores back in the day so I have lots of fond memories. The internet certainly has made it easy to track down just about anything you could ever want, but perhaps some of the romance is gone.

Kevin Harrington: I've been listening to MP3 format the most lately, I have to say that for me it's the most convenient format. Cd's are still great thought, I've all ways liked reading the liner notes and seeing the artwork.

Kevin McCauley: MP3 format with really good headphones...you hear so much more of the music.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?

Rob Weiss: On some level everything I hear influences me. My biggest influences on starting the band would be: The Cocteau Twins, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, U2, The Police, The Chameleons, Joy Division, Dif Juz, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Church, The Psychedelic Furs, The Beatles, 4AD Records, Creation Records, Factory Records.

Kevin Harrington: I like to think that everything influences me a little but the biggest are: The Cocteau Twins, The Kitchens Of Distinction, The Church, Slowdive, Curve, The Chameleons, The Cure, Lush, Adorable, Jane's Addiction, Catherine Wheel.

Kevin McCauley: Ironically, it is a lot of the same music I listened to in high school and college; music that I didn't even know were part of a specific genre. I just listened to it because I liked it and related to it...The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cure, Rites of Spring, Lush, Slowdive. More recently I would say Oasis, Radiohead, the Dandy Warhols, and The Verve.

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?

Rob Weiss: Lately I've been reading the manga series Akira. I listen to a ton of music, but some of my heavy rotation favorites currently include: Washed Out, Tycho, Wild Nothing, Ivy, Blouse, Dum Dum Girls, The Joy Formidable, Tame Impala, Kaiser Chiefs, Ringo Deathstarr, Secret Shine, The Horrors and lots of 60's bebop. I recently watched the film Kuroneko (a Japanese ghost story) which I really enjoyed. I'm also looking forward to picking up the new Haruki Murakami novel 1Q84.


deardarkhead. Lighthouse.

If you had to choose one deardarkhead track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?

Rob Weiss: That's a tough one! I don't think I could narrow it down to just one song after 23 years. Probably whatever our latest song is at any given moment.

Kevin Harrington: That's hard to say. We've sounded different through out the years, it has evolved and captured what we are at that time. That being said, I do have many favorites!

Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

Rob Weiss: Most bands tend to have one or two primary song writers. We've always been a bit different in that department. Throughout the history of the band, everyone has written and contributed songs and/or lyric ideas. Sometimes one person will bang out an entire song by themselves and other times we'll build the song off a riff, a chord progression, a bass line or even a drum beat. We really don't have a fixed way of writing. We are willing to try different things and come up with songs that everyone feels strongly about. Lately I've been demoing all my ideas in Garageband, which I find incredibly effective and expedient for developing new songs. After that I send the rough sketch over to the rest of the group...from there we really refine things with the arrangement and the sounds/textures. By the end of the process everyone has contributed to get the song where it needs to be...it's a very intuitive, organic process. We really just try to entertain ourselves to create what we feel is interesting music.

Kevin Harrington: It's been different for each song, which has been nice. Some ideas develop very quickly, other times, not so quickly and we're ready to kill each other, just kidding. No matter what the process, we've worked well together and have had fun doing it. We've been lucky to have had so many great songwriters in the band over the years.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Rob Weiss: I think the Golden Rule pretty much sums it up for me. Also I believe it's important to try and add to the world in a positive way. I've always felt that being an artist is a noble pursuit.

Kevin Harrington: Work hard, good things will follow.

Kevin McCauley: Surround yourself with talented and creative people. Take interest in the world around you. Live don't just exist.