Should originated in Austin, Texas, writing, recording, and performing under the name shiFt. Inspired after hearing Lilys In the Presence of Nothing on Slumberland, Marc Ostermeier formed Should together with Tanya Maus and his brother Eric. The unique sound of their first recordings sprang from their unorthodox songwriting and recording technique. Songs were built around guitar phrases recorded onto cassette that were then sampled and looped using an Ensoniq EPS sampler. An overloaded 4-channel mixer was the primary source of disortion. Their debut six song CD-EP on Austin's ND label, 1995's A Folding Sieve, is a shining landmark of the 1990's American shoegazer scene and received a fair share of critical acclaim.

[Should] invest your world with wonder. They make you want to babble improbable metaphors to describe their music. When that happens, you're in the presence of greatness.  |  Alternative Press

Slow, winding melodies, dense, layered guitars, buried vocals and enough white noise to bring My Bloody Valentine out of retirement.  |  CMJ

Sheer brilliance!   |  The Big Takeover

Soundtrack music for the mind.  |  Magnet

However, limited distribution and an aversion to touring left Should in semi-obscurity. After a 7" on ND in 1997, newly-founded Words On Music released Should's first full length CD, Feed Like Fishes, in late 1998. A wonderfully complicated album of noisy, sedate, and minimal pop songs, Feed Like Fishes falls somewhere between shoegazer, slowcore and postrock. Reviewers offered up artists such as Yo La Tengo, Slowdive, Galaxie 500 and Brian Eno as reference points, but Should's unique sound was apparent.

The trio's stubborn quest for beauty relies on very few elements and stands in stark contrast with the bombast of contemporary rock.  |  Piero Scaruffi

This is so pretty it almost hurts.  |  Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover

Four stars [out of five].  |  All Music Guide

In 2002 Words On Music re-released A Folding Sieve, doubling the number of tracks of the original EP. Added to the original seven songs are both tracks from a 1997 7" single that featured a version of Jean Paul Sartre Experience's "Own Two Feet," a cover of 18th Dye's "Merger," and four unreleased songs recorded in 1995 and 1996.

Should contributed an odd, loungy instrumental cover of "Outdoor Miner" to Words On Music's 2004 tribute to the seminal Wire song.

In December 2010 Should finished recording their third album, Like a Fire Without Sound, which was released in April 2011 on Words On Music.

In November 2011, Captured Tracks kicked off its Shoegaze Archive series with a reissue of A Folding Sieve – both on vinyl and CD. The reissue is different than the 2002 edition on Words On Music. This edition is an essentially complete collection of songs recorded in Austin from 1992-1995 and, as such, contains several previously unreleased tracks. Captured Tracks also released a limited edition cassette Resonate that replicates the pre-Folding Sieve cassette released on Whirling Pool in 1993.

The beginning of 2014 saw the release of a new album, The Great Pretend, which was preceded by the three-song digital single, Down A Notch.

Tanya Maus
Eric Ostermeier
Marc Ostermeier


Words On Music Releases

Full Discography
  • A Folding Sieve (ND, 1995) CD-EP
  • Own Two Feet (ND, 1997) 7"
  • Feed Like Fishes (Words On Music, 1998) CD
  • A Folding Sieve (Words On Music, 2002) CD
  • Like A Fire Without Sound (Words On Music, 2011) CD
  • Resonate (Captured Tracks, 2011) limited edition cassette
  • A Folding Sieve (Captured Tracks, 2011) CD + LP
  • Down A Notch (Words On Music, 2014) digital single
  • The Great Pretend (Words On Music, 2014) CD

  • Compilation tracks
  • Solutions and Remedies (Clairecords, 1998) CD collide
  • Losing Today Vol. 1 (Losing Today, 1998) CD sarah missing
  • 18TH DYE Left (Extreme Sports, 1999) CD merger
  • Dare - A Tribute to the Wedding Present v. 2 (Orange Slices, 2000) CD spangle
  • We are not alone - songs for the lo-fi generation - volume four (Best Kept Secret, 2001) cassette these days
  • A Houseguest's Wish (Words On Music, 2004) CD outdoor miner

  • A Folding Sieve
    CD-EP (1995)

    Own Two Feet
    7" (1997)

    A Folding Sieve
    CD + LP (2011)