WHITELANDS - NIGHT-BOUNDS EYES ARE BOUND TO THE DAY

WHITELANDS - NIGHT-BOUNDS EYES ARE BOUND TO THE DAY

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Released: 23/02/24

At the forefront of the new generation of Black British guitar music with Big Joanie and Bob Vylan * Supporting Slowdive on their UK tour in February * Singles playlisted by BBC Radio 6 Music, Spotify and others.

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.”

As a result of this diet, the 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’s Sonic Cathedral labelmates deary), trying to navigate love following that diagnosis.

The album is bookended by two poetically political songs – ‘Setting Sun’ and ‘Now Here’s The Weather’ – that deal with imperialism, racism and performative ignorance.
“We’ve experienced tokenism, micro-behaviours, envy and resentment,” concludes Vanessa. “So we feel we have to continually prove ourselves. We know we’re making a positive impact, but I want Whitelands to really break some barriers.”

Tracklisting:
1. Setting Sun
2. The Prophet & I
3. Cheer
4. Tell Me About It
5. How It Feels
6. Chosen Light
7. Born In  Understanding
8. Now Here’s The Weather