Festivals! Festivals! Festivals! They pretty much give the music industry a reason to exist throughout the summer, and while no one's complaining (least of all me), more often than not there is a feeling of deja vu when scouring through the assorted line ups on offer both at home and abroad. And more importantly, the distinct lack of bands whose inspiration clearly lies in the shoegaze, dreampop and psychedelic scenes.
However, rather than bleat about it, many have gone out and started their own events instead! With The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia)set to take place in a fortnight - and DiS in attendance for both days including a DJ set on the Friday - featuring a host of impressive names like Moon Duo, Clinic, Dead Meadow, Hookworms and Psychic Ills among the line-up, other gatherings have materialised in its shadow.
The following weekend sees the first Reverb Conspiracy Festival take place at Dalston's Shacklewell Arms. Spread across the weekend of the 4th, 5th and 6th October, Can legend Damo Suzuki, The Telescopes and The Cult Of Dom Keller just some of the names confirmed to play.
The following weekend over in Denmark, Aarhus Psychfest plays host to The Wands, The Asteroid #4 and The Blue Angel Lounge (full interview coming soon on DiS) among an impressive line-up of homegrown and overseas talent.
With many more events set to be announced over the coming months, not to mention a plethora of new releases also on the horizon, it's fair to say the growing popularity of shoegaze, psych, call-it-what-you-will shows no sign of slowing down for the foreseeable future.
Summer may have been and gone, but there's plenty to be excited about. So without further ado, here's the second Some Velvet Mixtape of 2013 featuring forty-one of the finest tracks to grace our stereos this year.
Asia I Koty
Polish chanteuse Joanna Kuzma records under the name Asia I Koty, and if current single 'Somewhere More Like Summer' is anything to go by, is definitely a name to look out for over the coming months. Mixing the hazy atmospherics of Mazzy Star with the taut vignettes of Patti Smith or Pj Harvey, this just-over-two-minutes-long ode to summertime is one of the most blissful pieces of music we've heard all year.
London quartet Younghusband have been wooing the circuit for a couple of years now. Having finally released debut LP Dromes last month, we're expecting big things over the coming months. This is new single 'Silver Sisters', taken from the aforementioned record.
We've long been fans of Barnsley four-piece Exit Calm, and forthcoming album The Future Isn't What It Used To Be (released September 23rd) is one of this year's finest. Here's the Todd Eckert produced video for 'When They Rise', the second single to be taken from the record.
Fat White Family
London's Fat White Family have been compared to a variety of bands from The Brian Jonestown Massacre to The Fall. Not that they sound like either, although their soothing brand of psychedelic rock is a joy to behold. New single 'Auto Neutron' came out this week. Enjoy!
Former Creation Records stalwarts The Telescopes release their seventh long player Harm later this month. Developed and recorded live in one take with no overdubs, it's a visceral exercise in harshly constructed noise.
Kitchens Of Distinction
Also returning with their first brand new material in nearly twenty years are Kitchens Of Distinction. Folly features the original line-up of Patrick Fitzgerald, Julian Swales and Dan Goodwin and is released on 30th September through 3 Loop Music. Here's 'Japan To Jupiter'.
Sudden Death Of Stars
French quintet Sudden Death Of Stars released their Getting Up, Going Down LP earlier this year on Close Up Records. Referencing Spacemen 3, The Velvet Underground and Can among others, it's a worthwhile purchase this autumn. This is recent single 'Supernovae', taken from the album.
One band we fell in love with while trawling around the summer festivals were Leamington Spa duo Coves. Here's 'Last Desire' which came out earlier this year on 1965 Records.
Black Hearted Brother
Essentially a collaboration between Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Mark Van Hoen (Seefeel) and Nick Holton (Holton's Opulent Oog), Black Hearted Brother might just be the ultimate psychedelic spacerock band with a shoegaze twist. Debut album Stars Are Our Home comes out next month. In the meantime, here's '(I Don't Mean To) Wonder'.
Hailing from Nottingham and named after a Pavement song they may be, but Debris Slide owe more to late 1980s Creation or 4AD Records with their feedback and reverb drenched sonic assaults. Their third self-released EP is out this month and it's great! Listen for yourselves...
Staying with the East Midlands, Derby's My Psychoanalyst have been around for the best part of a decade now. Choreomania is their third long player and comes out as a self-release via their Bandcamp page on 16th September. This is 'Clump Soul', which came out as a single in July.
Loomer hail from Brisbane and make - by their own reckoning - "unpopular music." We wholeheartedly disagree, and debut LP Ceiling, released on Lost Race Records in May inherently proves why.
The Underground Youth
Manchester three-piece The Underground Youth have been big news on the burgeoning psych scene since debut album Morally Barren unsuspectfully arrived four years ago. Last month saw the release of their third full length album The Perfect Enemy For God on Fuzz Club Records and it's a stormer as expected. This is lead single 'Rodion'.
Hailing from Brooklyn and featuring a former member of Some Velvet Mixtape favourites Farewell Republic among their ranks, Glass Gang make perfectly accessible brooding death pop. This is 'Awake'.
Little is known about Flyying Colours except there's four of them and they come from Melbourne. Here's 'Wavy Gravy', their debut single released in April which can be purchased via their Bandcamp page.
the machine room
Edinburgh quintet the machine room have been making exquisitely fine tuned dreampop for the best part of five years now. Most recent single 'Sweden' came out on Club Fandango/Fierce Panda in May and is one of 2013's finest 45s to date.
Brooklyn three-piece sua might possess an unusually spelt name (it's actually pronounced "sway") but there's nothing peculiar about their music. Fusing ambient shoegaze with math rock song structures, current EP Twins ably demonstrating why they've been favourably compared to the likes of Asobi Seksu, Tera Melos and the Cocteau Twins.
Fronted by Jeff Ramuno aka Jeffertitti Moon who also plays bass with Father John Misty, Jeffertitti's Nile purvey the kind of psychedelia your grandparents probably warned you about before partaking on school trips. Looking like refugees from the inaugural Woodstock Festival and sounding like an even more experimental Tame Impala, they're undoubtedly ones to watch as 2013 enters its final phase.
Then Comes Silence
Regular readers of this column will remember how much we enthused about Then Comes Silence, the side project of Sad Day For Puppets' Alex Svenson, in the last instalment. Although their self-titled debut only came out late last year, they've already announced the follow-up Then Comes Silence II will be out on 23rd October. Here's 'Spirits Flow'.
Another Brooklyn band currently creating a wave of excitement are Eastern Hollows. Although currently unsigned, expect that to change shortly. Here's 'Summer's Dead', self-released last year and muted to be the first release once the ink on their chosen contract is dry soon.
Sydney natives Dark Bells have recently relocated to London, and there's something epic to be said about forthcoming single 'Want', released next month on RIP Records. Here's the video.
There's a lot of focus on Birmingham's music scene at the moment, what with Swim Deep, Peace and Jaws all doing well at present. Another name to add to that list are Wide Eyed, who play the kind of mesmerising psych rock associated with early Pink Floyd or Spacemen 3. This is 'Still'.
London's Whistlejacket release their debut single 'March Hare' on New Year's Day in 2014 through Fuzz Club Records. It's also set to be featured on the latest Reverb Conspiracy compilation shortly. Here's the video.
Cambridge four-piece Forest remind us so much of J Mascis in his prime that they could have been named Dinosaur Juniors. Forthcoming EP Caramel Arms shows a more diverse range of arrows to their bow, as demonstrated by 'Coaster', lead track off the record.
Little is known about ebullient newcomers Pusher other than their dreamy sound reminds us of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Sisters If Mercy in their undisputable prime. Need further proof? Listen to new single 'Shoot Life' then tell us we're wrong if you dare...
London four-piece Parlour might be relatively unknown outside the capital city's underground scene at this moment in time, but expect things to change soon if recent single 'My Love' is anything to go by.
Heligoland have been fusing post-rock soundscapes with ambient textures and drone laced melodies for fifteen years now. Their most recent EP, Sainte Anne came out earlier this year. This is 'Sleepless', taken from the EP and recorded live in January.
Icelandic outfit Oyama put out their first long player I Wanna in January of this year, which may seem like a lifetime ago but it still sounds no less vital today.
Helsinki's Black Lizard like their psychedelic rock played loud, as highlighted to maximum effect on their eponymous debut LP, released in April of this year. Here's 'Boundaries', recorded under the mentoring of Anton Newcombe and mastered by Sonic Boom.
The Cherry Wave
Hailing from Glasgow amidst a fug of reverb and feedback, The Cherry Wave purvey a distortion heavy wall of noise Alan McGee would have done cartwheels over back in the day. This is current single 'Under Dull Grey Skies'.
Californian trio broaddaylight have been recording and playing together on and off since 2005. New album Anniversaries: Reunions came out in March and was mastered by Robin Guthrie and actually sounds like the atonal dialogue of a daydream. This is 'Arpeggio'.
Toronto duo Moon King release their first long player Obsession via Tough Love Records on 23rd September. Think Suicide meets The Breeders or Cocteau Twins and you're in the right ballpark. This is 'Only Child'.
The Road To Suicide
Danish combo The Road To Suicide like to blew minds and speakers, preferably at the same time. They're in the UK next month and shouldn't be missed. This is 'Sleepers'.
Peter Michel used to play drums in Craft Spells. Now he's ventured alone as Hibou, and if debut EP Dunes is anything to go by, we're expecting to hear a lot more from him in the future.
Austin, Texas can lay claim to the world's premier festival for psychedelic music and in Bloody Knives, has also reared a noise-induced three-headed beast of epic proportions. Debut album Blood came out on Saint Marie Records last month and here's the video for the title track.
Skardas hails from Lithuania and creates Loveless influenced dream pop submerged in atmospheric beats and ambient textures. This is 'Jet Fighter / Bridge'.
Japanese duo Ikebana conjure up lo-fi dream pop like Yo La Tengo skipping swimming lessons with M83. Debut album When You Arrive There came out in July, and is one of this summer's most shimmering collections. Here's 'Alone', taken from the album.
London's Hang Fire write uplifting pop songs with a slightly distorted twist. Think the poppier elements of Ride's Blank Again or The House Of Love for instance. Only bring it up to date with tales of 21st century failings and mishaps. This is recent single 'Broken'.
Baltimore's Mothersday have undoubtedly crafted one of this year's finest and most unique debuts in Tree Houses. Sequended and mastered by Sigur Ros cohort Alex Somers (aka The Riceboy Sleeps), it's a luscious journey through folk-driven soundscapes and textures that nestles betwixt a variety of genres. Here's 'Shoulder Soldier'.
The side project of Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt and producer Leon Taheny, Dusted are just as inclined to slow the tempo down to its most intimate persona as ramp up the volume via a halo of feedback and noise. Occasionally, they'll mix the lot, creating a maelstrom of musical schizophrenia such as on this.