Shoegaze music and having fun in a group setting don’t typically go together. That makes sense when you consider this genre is best enjoyed by yourself in a dark room on a rainy day when the sun sets at 3:30 p.m. in the dead of autumn so you can experience seasonal depression to its full potential. But maybe there’s still hope. Here are the top 30 shoegaze songs of all time that will probably get you ostracized from your friend group if you dare pick up that aux cord and play anything from this genre at a party.
30. Astrobrite “crasher” (2001)
One of the main characteristics of shoegaze is that none of the instruments are distinguishable from one another. Even the vocals are blended into the overall sound. This is a tough sell for people who want to hear more relatable lyrics about doing shots because they’re doing shots.
29. Galaxie 500 “Tugboat” (1988)
Galaxie 500 is the type of band that will make you lose aux privileges at your own party that you arranged. A new host named Josh will be democratically elected thereafter. He will put on Lizzo and be applauded for usurping you. The afterparty will be at Josh’s, and they “forgot” to invite you.
28. Slow Crush “Glow” (2018)
This may be one of the peppier shoegaze songs on this list, but the party will quickly see through that faux upbeat energy and rip the aux cord from you faster than they can plug in Post Malone.
27. Tamaryn “Love Fade” (2010)
The closest thing to a shoegaze band that the party is going to want to hear is a Deftones song. Don’t even think about anything else. Especially not this incredible track.
26. Flyingfish “blurry” (2023)
Putting on shoegaze at a party is equivalent to sending your crush an unsolicited dick pic. Sure, it sounds like a good idea at the time, but you will be ghosted, mocked relentlessly behind your back, and put on one of the “weird” websites. Rightfully so.
25. DIIV “For the Guilty” (2019)
You’re going to tell people at this boisterous party that you want to hear DIIV. Only your friends will mishear you and think you said Drake. But they’ll find out quickly that this song is not conducive to a social gathering of anything more than one person.
24. LSD and the Search for God “Starting Over” (2007)
The guy who put on Creed when it was his turn at the aux cord received a standing ovation and became the life of the party. On the other hand, you were asked to leave.
23. Swirlies “Pancake” (1993)
It doesn’t matter how drunk everyone is, nothing will sober up a party quicker than a song that makes them want to curl up in the fetal position in the corner of the room and remind them that suffering is inevitable and must be embraced through song.
22. Alvvays “Pharmacist” (2022)
Not even the Dungeon and Dragons party that secretly turns into an orgy after midnight will be into shoegaze. My God, will you be accepted anywhere socially for listening to this genre? The chances are slim to none.
21. Narrow Head “Cool in Motion” (2020)
There’s a more recent offshoot of shoegaze called “nu gaze.” You can try to explain this in full detail to anyone around you. But remember you’re here to make friends. Not lifelong enemies who will wish ill on you for bringing up such a thing.
20. Blonde Redhead “23” (2007)
Sometimes shoegaze comes in handy when you least suspect it. Like, when you’re hosting a party and you’re ready for everyone to leave, just throw on any song from this genre and it’ll fan out almost immediately. There’s a silver lining to enjoying ethereal tones.
19. Catherine Wheel “Black Metallic” (1992)
Just because you’ve listened to this one so many times at one in the morning by yourself on a Tuesday doesn’t mean it will translate to a party. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Someone has to break it to you.
18. Smashing Pumpkins “Mayonaise” (1993)
Smashing Pumpkins are not necessarily a shoegaze unit, but some of their songs have shoegaze elements and they were influenced by My Bloody Valentine. That counts for something. Regardless, the sound of Billy Corgan’s voice is enough for anyone to pry the aux cord from your cold, dead, shoegaze-loving hands.
17. Airiel “In Your Room” (2004)
If you’re ever at a party and everyone is having the time of their lives and you think to yourself, “Now might be the time to up the game and release this nearly 10-minute shoegaze track unto this social event,” you would be wrong. It’s never a good time. Just die already.
16. pinkshinyultrablast “Blaster” (2016)
Everyone will somehow be able to tell that this is one of those bands that doesn’t use spaces in their name and it’s all in lowercase. It’s one of the major characteristics of shoegaze. You don’t see Imagine Dragons doing that and look how far they’ve gotten.