Kevin Patrick Shields (born 21 May 1963) is an American-born Irish musician, singer-songwriter, composer and producer, best known as the vocalist and guitarist of the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine. Shields performed in a number of small unsuccessful bands in Dublin, Ireland, as a teenager, before forming My Bloody Valentine with drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig in 1983. Although initially experiencing limited success, the band would later become extremely influential on the evolution of alternative rock with their two original studio albums Isn’t Anything (1988) and Loveless (1991), both of which pioneered a subgenre known as shoegazing. Shields’ texturised guitar sound and his experimentation with his guitars’ tremolo systems resulted in the creation of the "glide guitar" technique, which became a recognisable aspect of My Bloody Valentine’s sound, along with his meticulous production techniques.
Following My Bloody Valentine’s dissolution in the late 1990s, Shields became a frequent guest musician, producer, engineer and remixer with various bands and artists, including Experimental Audio Research, Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr and Mogwai. In 1998 he became a touring member of Primal Scream. Shields contributed several original compositions to the soundtrack of Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation, which earned him nominations for British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) awards. In 2008, Shields released a collaborative live album together with Patti Smith entitled The Coral Sea.
My Bloody Valentine reunited in 2007, and released their third studio album m b v in February 2013. The album was composed entirely by Shields and had been in production since the late 1990s, when Shields was rumoured to have been suffering from writer’s block and mental illness. Shields has since been featured in several publications’ best-of-lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists and Spin’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Multiple musicians have also cited him as an influence, including Billy Corgan and J Mascis.