Subscribe to our newsletter


Album of the Week: 'A Dream Outside', Gengahr

Artist: Gengahr

Album: A Dream Outside

Label: Transgressive Records

For fans of: Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alt-J

Standout tracks: Heroine, Powder, Fill My Gums With Blood, Lonley As A Shark

Rating: ★★★★☆

North London’s highly acclaimed break-through act of 2014 – the hypnotic quartet Gengahr – are set to release their anticipated debut album A Dream Outside, out June 15th via Transgressive Records.

The well-praised psychedelic rock group has seen admiration from NME and The Guardian to BBC 6 Music and XFM, on the road to their first record. The four have also seen impressive support slots from Wolf Alice and Superfood to The Maccabees, Dry The River and Alt-J. It’s no wonder the dizzying and fantastical band has seen such success, as their first album delves impressively into mystical ethers, turning dreams inside out.

Expanding the imagination, Gengahr presents fantasy as a tool for deconstructing the emotivism of life.

The opening ‘Dizzy Ghosts’ awakens and arouses the ear with rising soft psychedelic waves of guitar, which rise and fall to crashing peaks of sonic ecstasy.

Shimmering in pop-plugged illuminating indie is ‘She’s A Witch’. The track combines Gengahr’s unique and illusive independent creativity, with hook-filled enchantment, in order to form an innovative earworm. “Maybe she’ll sink, maybe she’ll fly, I’ve got a witch that cries all the time,’ sparklingly circles the soothingly sweet chorus

‘Heroine’ continues to ooze in creative maturity, as the blossoming break-through band again nail a combination of indie resonating pop. The bands woozy haze of guitars meets a careful cool.

Callousness is added to the cool on ‘Bathed In Light.’ A seductive saunter of guitar and drums prowl beneath creeping lyrics, unafraid to express malevolent disgust, ‘tried being nice but it’s only out of spite, the smug in your voice makes me vomit.’

Sitting on Gengahr’s debut album as the band’s first-ever single release, ‘Powder’ captures the dynamic bands character in a wistfully spirited snapshot. In mischievously dark playfulness the lyrics creep, ‘Who’s gonna die?’  over psychedelic tangles of funky plunges of guitar. Gengahr are a band with more than first meets the ear, as their intriguingly gloomy lyrics loom across such inviting sound.

‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ illustrates the grievance of romance, with a convivial contortion of bouncing guitars and obscure metaphor magic. Painting the nonfulfillment of wielding desire the songs asks ‘why don’t you let me in so I can drink from you?’ as it crudely illustrates a ‘love that’s never enough’. Gengahr demonstrate a talented ability to juxtapose the light with the dark. In illuminating the ear with their pleasant spiraling sounds of merriment, they contrastingly slither the sinister into their sounds through their words, to a mesmerizing effect of collision between the mellow and the morose.

The peculiar named ‘Lonley As A Shark’ expresses the band’s aptitude in playing with the strange through language. The seas most fearsome creature becomes pitied, as Gengahr’s swimming and soothing loops of instrumentation, transforms a shark’s terror into isolated turmoil we can empathise with.

From Gengahr’s murky waters of alluring guitar, ripples emotive language of sentiment to the surface. Through other-worldly magic, Gengahr’s debut is a remarkable debut that bounds and soars fantastical realms, without losing touch with reality. In capturing the listener’s soul with tainted and intriguing nightmarish lyrics, the band remains in contact with the everyday.

Through ingenious exploration of language and astronomical instrumentalism, A Dream Outside forms a timeless heart capturing.

And with this being only the bands very first LP, who knows how far Gengahr’s astral sounds could stretch?

Emily Schofield