FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

An Open Letter To Kevin Shields Of My Bloody Valentine

Just put the damn thing out already, dude.

Dearest Kevin,

I really don’t want to have to dub you “The Boy Who Cried Shoegaze,” but you’ve got to quit fucking with us about this alleged new My Bloody Valentine record. Didn’t you promise a release by 2012? The year ended but the world didn’t, and Loveless’s follow-up remains the stuff of vague statements from you and lucid dreams from your fans. Yes, the purity of artistry and beauty of what you do, yes all good things come with time, but c'mon dude, it's been 20 years. At some point you gotta shit or get off the pot.

Advertisement

Not that I don't appreciate the perfectionism that goes into your work. Those textured walls of sound can’t be simple to create. If I could have 50 minutes of my life back, it’d hands-down be the first time Loveless’s brilliance seared through my unsuspecting ears. Everything I thought I knew about sound until then shattered with the opening chords of “Only Shallow.” Besides filling a room with an almost frightening presence, Loveless occupied the spaces I didn’t realize were vacant until then, physical or otherwise: the dips in a collarbone, lukewarm coffee half-finished in a dirty mug.

My skepticism isn’t unwarranted, though. You’re tricky, Mr. Shields, promising this follow-up since ’92. You’ve pretty much receded into shadows, only resurfacing for the occasional remix or sound mixing. Creation nearly went bankrupt with the production of Loveless and its eighteen engineers. Legend has it label owner Alan McGee repeatedly asked you about the Loveless release, and you replied stone-faced with its song titles: when you sleep, sometimes, soon. Since you took what was considered forever and a day with the Loveless release after Isn’t Anything (three years), I can’t help but think this new album could just be an elaborate troll.

The only concrete clue we have that an album exists at all is the album art mock-ups. Graphic designer Anthony Peters’ only instructions were to make it “abstract” and “hypnagogic.” I read about hypnagogia, since I wasn’t sure what it meant, and discovered it’s the period between sleep and awake called the "threshold consciousness," where phenomenons like auditory hallucinations occur. Numerous artists whose avant-garde aesthetic and creative processes you've probably influenced (Grimes, Deerhunter, Spaceghostpurrp) have had “hypnagogic” plastered across their work now as a label, since the music press needs hip terminology to define warped sounds previously unheard of, let alone understood.

Advertisement

Are you of all people subscribing to the masses by requesting your album art to be “hypnagoic?” If you reject these awesome-looking mock-ups Peters has done, will you request for round two’s covers to be “seminal,” "angular" or “gauzy” as well? I can’t bear to think you, of all sonic visionaries, would subscribe to the indie buzzword k-hole when it comes to the visual stuff. No. It’s too easy. You really are trolling us all!

Or maybe a permanent hypnagogia will actually happen if the world is exposed to the new record. It’s all part of your grand master plan, isn’t it? You’ll have complete control—certainly of our eardrums, maybe even our collective consciousness. So the brutal twenty-one year wait since Lovelessis is probably you just bracing us for the inevitable mind-death at your benevolent hands.

My gut tells me the lifelong torment of being under your control is a fair trade-off for the hour or so of bliss we'll during the next MBV album, because it's gonna be that good. So here I cling still to your cryptic promise of a new record. Give me anything—blackened ditties like “Drive It All Over Me”, “Glider”-esque meta-deep cuts or thrashing mastery similar to “Feed Me With Your Kiss.” Seriously, we're like junkies fiending at this point. We want this shit and we want it bad. Just put the damn thing out already.

Love,

Paula

PS—Please extend the tour and do some dates in the U.S.? Not all of us are cool enough to live in the UK or Japan. Rad, thanks.

Paula Mejia is patiently waiting and complaining about how her blood itches over on Twitter - @lightsoutpm