London indie-rockers Bleach Lab release 'Lost In A Rush of Emptiness' today, their debut album project out now on Nettwerk. Produced by Boygenius, PJ Harvey and The Big Moon collaborator Catherine Marks, the band recorded the album together live in the same room for the first time; a transformative move after forging their trio of explorative EPs while splintered apart by the isolation of lockdown.
Further elevating their reputation with their dynamic live shows – which have included a sold-out headline show at London’s Lafayette late last year and a packed-out recent set at Latitude Festival – Bleach Lab are gearing up for a run of headline tour dates through Europe, Ireland and the UK, this October and November.
As foreshadowed via earlier singles like 'Nothing Left To Lose,’ ‘Smile For Me’ and ‘All Night’, on 'Lost In A Rush of Emptiness', the glimmering indie-rock on which Bleach Lab have built their foundations shelters what is essentially an exercise in joint catharsis for the band. Rather than culminating in a singular moment of explosive revelation – here this is achieved by the band's intentional burrowing deep into the disorientation of life-altering moments, and sitting with and dissecting those feelings.
This process is exemplified on new album highlight ‘Everything At Once,’ a manifestation of inner turmoil. “This track is about being at war with your own choices, almost like a devil and an angel on each shoulder,” Bleach Lab explain. “I see the contrast between the verses and chorus as two mindsets. One being vulnerable, accepting an unhealthy relationship and allowing it to consume you and the chorus (being the angel) trying to talk some sense into yourself and acknowledging that you have been shutting everything out for so long that you’ve forgotten yourself.”
Each band member’s experiences live within Lost In A Rush Of Emptiness, with its title being a line borrowed from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous collection The Flame. Bassist and co-lyricist Josh Longman - wrote key tracks including the eviscerating single ‘Counting Empties’ where he explores alcoholism - documenting and acknowledging how an old drinking habit impacted his relationships. Whilst a key thread through the record too is Jenna Kyle's grappling with the fallout from a toxic relationship, there's also more universal moments too - such as on 'Smile For Me', where she recounts her frustrations and experiences of sexual harassment on the street, exploring the tension between both the simmering rage and feelings of powerlessness these encounters cause.
Originally hailing from Buckinghamshire, founding members Jenna and Josh first met at college before Bleach Lab organically came together, with their vast and varied influences lending a kind of democracy to their music. Drummer Kieran Weston loves the shimmering ‘80s pop of bands like The Cure and The Smiths, while Kyle is drawn to “sad solo female artists” like Phoebe Bridgers and Daughter’s Elena Tonra.
Guitarist Frank Wates has a keen ear for new music, and is a key source of the band’s knack for crystalline dream pop. 2021 saw the four-piece mark their arrival with the release of their first two EPs, 'A Calm Sense of Surrounding' and 'Nothing Feels Real', the latter produced by Stephen Street (The Cranberries, The Smiths, Blur). 2022’s 'If You Only Feel It Once', drove the bands vision forward delving into poppier, more modern sounds alongside producer Duncan Mills (Peace, The Vaccines, Jake Bugg). Now ushered in under the guidance of Catherine Marks, 'Lost In A Rush of Emptiness' sees Bleach Lab take another huge step forward, a cohesive full-length statement which rises triumphantly from (and in testament to) life’s highs and lows.
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