Hazy shoegaze is given a dreamy, slow-burn makeover in “Keep My Knees Safe II,” the newest tune by bedroom pop darling, Port Lucian.
It’s no question that shoegaze is in the midst of a revival in today’s indie scene, but Port Lucian’s new song takes the gritty yet lofty sound of the movement and gives it a modern twist.
A signature technique popularized by shoegaze is the use of numerous vocal tracks; blending echoey vocals with the rest as if it was an instrument creates a larger-than-life, “empty arena” atmosphere within the song. Port Lucian’s use of vocals borrows from that technique, but is more of a focal point. Unlike many shoegaze songs, the lyrics to this tune are comprehensible and unambiguous-- a creative choice I personally agree with, given the sheer beauty of the lyrics. But make no mistake, there are still harmonies and atmospheric echoes galore in good ol’ fashioned shoegaze style.
The vocal tracks aren’t the only way Port Lucian strays from the infamous noisy shoegaze sound. It’s important to note that lyrically, the song is about the inability to forget the things that haunts us. It makes sense that Port Lucian would trade in the big, swelling, reverb-ridden shoegaze drum for a softer, more subdued sound; the focus on the vocals with harmonies floating not far behind creates that fuzzy, disoriented feeling of overthinking.
The jangly, textured electric guitar gives the tune a rougher edge to its otherwise iridescent and dreamy sound, successfully invoking a feeling of nostalgia, warmth, and romanticism in the listener. It’s coupled with a bit of white noise and reverb to fully round out the muddy sound while still maintaining the distinguishable qualities of the instruments.
This reimagining of shoegaze simultaneously transforms the genre entirely and represents what it’s all about at its core-- the manipulation of sound to forge an ethereal, introspective listening experience.
Portia Maidment is the iconic queer mastermind behind Port Lucian, roaring from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a touch of mystery and impressive musical prowess, Port Lucian is building their own world within the lofi indie sphere. Since 2017, they have been experimenting with sound and song in their bedroom, and are set to release their new EP titled “Prince of Oddities” on September 18th on Z Tapes.
Written by Jess Ward