New Noise, a brand new featured section on Far Out, will see a renewed focus on the realm of new music as we look at some of the emerging artists you need to start adding to your playlist. These are the artists looking to make 2021 the year in which they step out of their shadows, armed with an arsenal of material ready to get the recognition that they duly deserve.
Bleach Lab’s forthcoming debut release, A Calm Sense Of Surrounding, is out on March 19th and sees the band deal with two separate incidents that have adversely affected their mental health. Their democratic songwriting process allowed bassist Josh Longman to explore his father’s death together with singer Jenna Kyle, a theme that exists throughout the EP. Kyle was also dealing with the end of her long-term relationship at the same time, and these situations left both members in a dark place, which they let unravel on their debut project to show that they are rich in substance.
While this is their first EP, Bleach Lab have been evolving since their formation in 2016. Constantly developing, the band has grown confident enough to finally share their debut single, ‘Heartache of the Season’, which was unveiled towards the end of 2019. This precious time has been poured into honing a sound that presents precisely who Bleach Lab is in a well-rounded fashion, showing that sometimes the long-road is the one best travelled.
When you’re tackling hard-hitting and personal topics like grief, it must be done by an artist immaculately rather than half-baked or throwaway. Bleach Lab’s sound feels unambiguous, lucid and every inch of each track studiously thought out. “We have changed our sound a lot over that time, and we wanted to make sure we start as we mean to go on,” bassist Josh Longman says on their prolonged journey to releasing their first EP. Singer Jenna Kyle adds, “I think that having the past year to define and perfect the sort of approach we want to make, both in how we present as a band and most importantly the kind of music we’re putting out there, was really essential for us.”
Bleach Lab’s music carefully uses emotional topics for currency, and each song has an underbelly of sentiment in it. This method of writing can be both a cathartic and heartbreaking experience as Langman can attest to: “I found elements of the lyrics hard to write, as parts of the EP are about me dealing with the death of my dad when I was younger,” he says to Far Out.
“I found it raw to talk about as this is never something I usually have done, so to share it with the band members, let alone whoever will stumble across this EP, was a daunting thing for me,” the bassist added. “But I found it really therapeutic, and I found it helped me a lot looking back at the experience creating this EP.”
The band democratically write tracks, and even though Kyle is the vocalist in the group we hear on the record, all their voices are etched into the words. The kindship that the band have built over the last few years has benefitted their songwriting process, forging an unbreakable bond that allows them to connect with intricate personal stories that are tackled on the EP.
While a lot of bands often claim that their song’s don’t carry a significant amount of meaning, Kyle’s view on the subject is entirely on the contrary: “I really struggle to write unless I am 100% emotionally involved in what I’m writing,” she explained. “It took an awful lot of strength to allow myself to go to the places that I had to go to, to write some of these lyrics. I’m glad I did though, it was hugely grounding and allowed me to look at things from new perspectives and let things go.”
Bleach Lab are scattered around London and Brighton, which has made the last twelve months a logistical nightmare. Though the current situation has proven tricky, it has also allowed them further room for contemplation to deliver a serene debut EP that leaves no question marks surrounding Bleach Lab’s accomplished, mature sound. Like many emerging bands right now, Bleach Lab look set to leave the pandemic with a new army of fans that they’ve grown over the last twelve months and, after releasing A Calm Sense Of Surrounding, their stock will only rise even further. For Kyle, this still feels surreal, “It hasn’t nearly sunk in, no! It is really odd to release music at a time where you can’t play it live to get the full feel for playing it live.”
This overwhelmed feeling is reciprocated by guitarist Frank Wates, who notes: “I think until we do play shows again and we can see people reacting to our music in person, it won’t fully sink in.”
The EP sees the band channel wave after wave of sombre tears from an ocean of love and loss into a heartbreaking debut effort that, although it’s born out of tragedy and unapologetically personal, still contains plenty of scope for the listener to discover the universal feelings within A Calm Sense Of Surrounding. The EP is plastered endlessly with desolate feelings that gush out of the record, and these emotions feel incredibly earnest and intimate in a time when we are all so disconnected from the outside world and living inside our heads without the usual distractions available to occupy our minds.