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Throughout the course of history, numerous works of art have stood at the forefront of their respective genres. British indie band My Bloody Valentine's Loveless is one such work. Their unique sound on the album defined a sub-genre of indie rock known as shoegaze. This thesis is the first major academic study of My Bloody Valentine and their decisive presentation of shoegazer aesthetics: Loveless. In the first chapter, I trace the origins of shoegaze as a resultant effect of the punk, postpunk, and indie movements that came before it. Later in the chapter, I discuss the music of several important shoegazer bands. Then, deduced from their commonalities, I imply a characterization of shoegaze. During the second chapter, I focus more specifically on My Bloody Valentine. By means of a basic biography, I present My Bloody Valentine's development and struggles as a band in order to emphasize the profundity of their final album, Loveless, on both musical and interpersonal levels. In the third chapter, I present an analysis of Loveless using both traditional and non-traditional methods. The goal of this process is to gain further insight into the new realm of sound possibilities My Bloody Valentine discovered and thus attain a better understanding of their dream-like art. The chapter stresses the significant innovations presented on the album. The final chapter offers the reception of Loveless. I accomplish this by dissecting several reviews, both official and unofficial, with the intention of highlighting its virtually unanimous positive response. Throughout the thesis, I have attempted to combine both academic and journalistic writing and research standards so that interested persons from both areas may benefit from its reading. The essential objective of this thesis is to justify My Bloody Valentine as one of the most important bands in music history while also presenting a contemporary model for popular music studies.
Dreampop, Popular Music, Indie, Shoegaze, My Bloody Valentine, Psychedelic, Rock
Date of Defense
March 29, 2006.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Charles E. Brewer, Professor Directing Thesis; Frank Gunderson, Committee Member; Evan Allan Jones, Outside Committee Member.
Florida State University
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