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Drop Nineteens: A Shoegaze Phenomenon

todayMarch 15, 2021 18

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By Lesly Milan
Music Journalist

When the popular UK shoegaze genre spread into the United States, bands like Drop Nineteens began to experiment with the shoegaze sound.

While the genre had already been popularized by bands like Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, American bands helped in expanding the genre even more. Drop Nineteens is one of those bands, and their contribution to shoegaze is still being recognized today. 

Drop Nineteens was formed in Boston in 1991. They were said to be more popular in the UK than America so they signed to a UK record label. They only released two full studio albums, Delaware and National Coma, both of which represent the different sounds of shoegaze. 

I vividly remember how I felt listening to Delaware for the first time. I instantly fell in love with the upbeat sound, guitar riffs, and harmonies. My favorite part of it all was the male and female vocals, which give this fast-paced music a soft sound. 

My personal song suggestions from Delaware are “Winona,” “Delaware,” “Angel” and “Kick The Tragedy.” These songs each have one thing that separates them from the rest of the songs on the album. They have a uniqueness to them that cannot be replicated. 

“Kick the Tragedy” by Drop Nineteens

“Kick The Tragedy,” which is a whole nine minutes long, is mostly instrumental. However, at around the five minute mark, you can hear a descriptive narration that kind of sounds like a young girl’s diary entry.

It makes you feel like you’re inside her brain, listening to her inner monologue. That narration had a nostalgic effect on me that reminded me of my childhood when I heard it for the first time. 

“Delaware” by Drop Nineteens

“Delaware” is probably my favorite song off the Delaware album. I personally enjoy it because it leads you in with a slow start, and then suddenly picks up with repetitive and constant drums.

It almost sounds like you are listening to two completely different songs. I’m also a fan of the faint electric guitar riffs in the background towards the end of the song. They don’t overpower the track and instead allow you to take in all the instrumental sounds as a whole. 

Regardless of which song you decide to listen to, and whether it is off Delaware or National Coma, Drop Nineteens will help you appreciate the beauty of shoegaze music. Their impact on the shoegaze scene does not go unnoticed and I hope more people will get to discover their music.

You can check out Drop Nineteens’ music on Spotify, SoundCloud or YouTube Music.

Featured Image via Drop Nineteens’ art cover for album Delaware

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