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London shoegazers’ debut comes alive within the particulars

London shoegazers’ debut comes alive within the particulars


It’s by no means a nasty concept to grasp how issues would possibly go incorrect. Whitelands’ ‘Evening-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day’ is a kind of gauzy, meditative shoegaze information that would simply immediate you to stare into house, jaw more and more slack, because it washes over you. So each once in a while the London quartet supply a pointy jab within the ribs – with a stunning melody, an surprising texture – to verify we’re nonetheless paying consideration.

It’s factor, too, as a result of there’s loads happening right here. The London band – guitarist-vocalist Etienne Quartey-Papafio, guitarist Michael Adelaja, bassist Vanessa Govinden and drummer Jagun Meseorisa – enjoyment of pairing dense sounds with layered, indirect which means, starting with a reputation that’s an arch reference to the faculty on the College of Roehampton the place Quartey-Papafio performed his first present and the actual fact they’re individuals of color working in a style traditionally dominated by white dudes.

Quartey-Papafio writes feelings as if he’s including accents to an already richly-detailed canvas and, as an extension of that, his unobtrusive voice is then located as one factor within the combine. Because of this, he is ready to catch you off guard. “No matter you need is no matter I’ll say I want,” he sings to open the propulsive ‘The Prophet & I’, the complexity of the sentiment slowly leeching beneath the pores and skin.

‘Now Right here’s the Climate’ would possibly, in different arms, be delivered as a polemic. However Whitelands pointedly place its not-quite-abstract dialogue of racism and imperialism in a blissed-out refrain. “Let’s love thy neighbour / Let’s burn their home,” Quartey-Papafio half-mumbles, daring you to catch the change-up the primary time round. Elsewhere, this dynamic is cannily replicated musically. The percussive weight of Govinden’s bass is usually handled as a tough floor, providing some extent of distinction to watery chords, whereas the primary stanza of the standout ‘Cheer’ makes use of Meseorisa’s rattling hi-hat similarly.

‘Inform Me About It’ (a collaboration with Dottie of dream-poppers Deary) and ‘How It Feels’ are extra melodically direct however, apparently, at their most compelling when the guitars are nearly climbing over each other, making a dizzying mesh of sound. Whitelands’ strategy is troublesome as a result of all of this actually solely turns into obvious with shut examine — that’s a harmful recreation to play, however one they seem well-equipped to win.


whitelands album

  • Launch date: February 23
  • Report label: Sonic Cathedral


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