Toronto based shoegaze artist Charlie Berger is your typical hardworking musician. He performs in several shoegaze inspired bands such as Soft Wounds, With Hidden Noise, Tonemirror, Lacquer and Slowly. He also runs a DIY label called Lossleader Records which focuses on shoegaze, dreampop and slowcore music. With his project Slowly, he has recently released a new album titled Reveal via Lossleader Records on September 27th. It’s a ten track album with reverb drenched wall of sound soundscapes. Check it out here.
We caught up with Charlie and asked him to pick three albums that have influenced him and his music. These are his picks.
Low – Things We Lost in the Fire (2002)
Things We Lost in the Fire was my first experience with Duluth, MN slowcore band Low, and it certainly wouldn’t be my last. From the first cascading chords strummed on album opener ‘Sunflower’, to the final notes of the beautiful closer ‘In Metal’, I was drawn into their world of hypnotically sparse, minimal (often droning) arrangements, alluring melodies and beautiful vocal harmonies. I have always had a penchant for ‘sad songs’ and this album definitely doesn’t disappoint in that department (particularly the track ‘Embrace’, try to get through that one without getting just a little bit weepy, I dare you).Things We Lost in the Fire illustrates that complex arrangements are not required to make truly compelling music; sometimes the spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves.
Slowdive – Souvlaki
Growing up, I had always been drawn to music with textures that created a more ethereal sense of space. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Slowdive that I really understood just how important these elements were in creating truly beautiful, awe-inspiring music. Songs like ‘Souvlaki Space Station’ will intoxicate you with lush, atmospheric swells of reverb and delay. The euphoria experienced from repeated listens of this album inspired me to also create music that could (hopefully) provoke a similar awe and emotional experience in others. If you are new to shoegaze, there is no better place to start than this album; not only is Souvlaki considered one of the top shoegaze albums of all time, it’s also generally considered one of the best albums of all time.
Fugazi – Red Medicine
Most of my early song writing experiences were within the punk music scene, playing in various 3 chord punk bands as a teenager. In the greater punk scene, Fugazi was a definitely a game-changer, incorporating elements outside of what was regarded as traditional ‘punk’ music into their sound and they became extremely influential as a result. Throughout their entire career, they pushed limits and continually evolved as a band and with Red Medicine, they further expanded their forays into new territory, redefining what a ‘punk rock’ album could sound like. The first time I heard this record, I recall thinking; ‘this is weird’, but it was a good ‘weird’, weird in a very intriguing way. At the time, I had a feeling this album was going to become very important to me one day…and I was right! Fugazi, and this album in particular, inspired me to break out of the traditional modes of ‘genre’, and to always be open to exploring new ideas/new sounds.