TikTok Has Made Shoegaze Bigger Than Ever

🔗 a linked post to stereogum.com » — originally shared here on

In early 2023, an 18-year-old college student decided to make her first-ever shoegaze song. Her friend sent her a “beat,” a grungy shoegaze instrumental crafted by the producer grayskies, and she spent two hours recording herself singing over it into her phone, using her everyday Apple earbuds as a microphone. No guitars were strummed, and no reverb pedals were stepped on. The next day, she titled the song “Your Face” and uploaded a snippet of it on TikTok, posting under the artist name Wisp. The video gained 100k views overnight, so she made another. That one got 600k views. She made another. That one quickly racked up 1 million views. Soon after, “Your Face” was being streamed millions of times on Spotify, and before Wisp even released a second song, she had signed a deal with Interscope Records.

Fast-forward eight months later and “Your Face” has been streamed nearly 30 million times on Spotify, almost twice as much as My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless closer “Soon.” The official sound snippet has been used in 126k TikTok videos, almost as many as Mitski’s runaway TikTok goliath “Washing Machine Heart” (174k videos). In the real world, Wisp sold-out her first-ever show in less than a half hour, and then her second just as quickly.

Consider this article a bit of a “shot, chaser” to my previous post.

I’ve been really into shoegaze lately. This article does a fantastic job of highlighting how zoomers used TikTok to give the genre a renaissance.

It's a good reminder that social media isn’t innately awful. It warms my heart to see the children using these incredible technologies to unite under the banner of ethereal and somewhat depressing tunes.

Go check out Duster's album Stratosphere.

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