London dreampop/indie rock/shoegaze band Whitelands have announced the release of their debut full-length album ‘Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day‘.
Along with the album announcement, the group shared their new single/video “Tell Me About It” via a music video. The 8-track record will be out via Sonic Cathedral on February 23. Pre-order your copy here.
Whitelands are Etienne, Jagun, Vanessa and Michael and they are ostensibly a shoegaze band ever since Etienne stumbled across Slowdive’s KEXP session in his recommended videos on YouTube a few years ago. However, they come at the resurgent, Gen Z-soundtracking genre from a refreshingly different angle thanks to their mishmash of musical backgrounds. There’s also the fact that their line-up is fully PoC in what is traditionally seen as a predominantly white genre.
“There’s an underlying narrative that it’s OK for white men to be romantic, sensitive, emotional and make dreamy music and, by contrast, young Black men should be making angry music,” says Vanessa. “We’ve all grown up with these stereotypes and therefore I think people are mystified when they see Whitelands.” “I consume a lot of media,” says Etienne of his wide range of influences. “Videogames, music, news, paintings, manga, animations and film are my go-to, especially anime. There is this drive to want to understand and feel the whole weight of an expression. So, the songs are based on other songs, pictures, aesthetics, ‘vibes’, an emotion someone else felt. Fundamentally, you are what you eat.”
Approaching the recently resurgent shoegaze genre with fresh eyes, the group takes the well-established tenets of scene stalwarts like Slowdive in interesting new directions, with lyrics about ignorance, unconscious racism, and political decay.
Of the album title the band said:
The album title comes from a passsage in ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran, “The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light”. It felt perfect for this album, there was so much learning and self-reflection to make the songs sing for themselves, but we are glad it all came together this way.
The record’s lyrics are stunning, dealing with everything from unbalanced relationships and vulnerability to depression, being diagnosed with ADHD and, on the new single ‘Tell Me About It’ (featuring vocals by Dottie from the band deary), trying to navigate love following that diagnosis.
Commenting on the track, they shared: “This song is super special to us, its the first time we’ve ever had a feature on so we’re glad it worked out so so well. Inspired by Fallen Angels by Wong Kar-Wai this one is for the true yearners out there!”
Check out “Tell Me About It” below, followed by the album’s tracklist.
Whitelands ‘Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day’ Tracklist:
- Setting Sun
- The Prophet & I
- Tell Me About It
- How It Feels
- Chosen Light
- Born In Understanding
- Now Here’s The Weather