With a 20-year period between their second and third albums, My Bloody Valentine has had a history of hiatuses between music releases. This makes the latest news from the band a pleasant surprise: the band signed with Domino, planning to release two new albums.
This comes as a surprise, seeing as My Bloody Valentine previously opted to own their releases, foregoing the resources of larger labels. They got into trouble with a previous record label, Creation Records, for only releasing one album during their ten-year contract. Frontman Kevin Shields reportedly became friends with Domino founder Laurence Bell prior to the recent signing. Bell has wanted to sign them since then, but is only now making the deal. Domino is home to artists such as Alex G, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Real Estate.
With a new label comes the anticipation of new music. In an interview with The New York Times, Kevin Shields was purposely vague in describing not one, but two albums the band hopes to finish relatively soon. One will be “warm and melancholic,” while the other will be experimental.
Shields chose not to provide a tentative release date since the band won’t record until COVID-19 is no longer a concern. The band is currently spread across the British Isles, with Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig in Ireland, while guitarist and vocalist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe are in England. Butcher told The New York Times that once she can record her vocals, an album could be finished as early as the end of this year. If the pandemic continues on for too long, the band said they would explore remote options.
While waiting for new music, fans can listen to the band’s previous catalog, which can finally be streamed in its entirety. Though “Loveless” has been on streaming platforms for some time, Domino made the band’s third album, “m b v,” available on streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music. Domino also included a compilation of the band’s four EPs titled “ep’s 1988-1991” and “rare tracks.” Unfortunately, these cannot be streamed in North America.
For those not familiar with My Bloody Valentine, “Loveless” has long been regarded as the band’s magnum opus. Their second album is considered the crowning achievement of shoegaze, a genre of indie rock that emphasizes creating an atmosphere out of loud, distorted, reverberating guitars. From the first track, “Only Shallow,” one is immediately dropped into the world that the album creates for itself.
While it initially comes off as harsh, these tracks conjure a dreamy universe that’s quite easy to lose yourself in. One gets so enwrapped in the soundscapes of songs like “To Here Knows When” and “What You Want” that when each of those songs change pace in the final minute, one simultaneously enjoys the wind down while also wanting to return to the beautiful grungy energy.
Regardless of whether you listen to “Loveless,” “Tremolo” or “m b v” you should have plenty of time to savor each until the band follows through on their next two albums.
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