by Evan Phillips
Photo credit: Sonic PR.
Back in 2015, Gengahr were riding high off the release of their debut album A Dream Outside, and rightly so. The band had been championed already by BBC 6 Music and Huw Stevens amongst others after their breakthrough single Powder/Bathed In Light the previous year had turned heads for its instrumental mix of dream-pop and art rock underneath frontman Felix Bushe’s silken falsetto. That’s not to mention the numerous highlights that turned up on A Dream Outside as well. With lyrics concerning everything from vampires and ghosts to sharks and witches, you’d be forgiven for thinking the band had gone for more of a goth-rock vibe for their debut. Instead what they concocted was a perfect marriage of dark psychedelia and Indie-rock; the same heady clouds of synthesisers and guitars- often sounding so equally ethereal it’s hard to tell them apart- alongside serpentine bass lines and deft rhythms that suggested Gengahr were not just a flavour-of-the-week Indie band but a talented and adventurous young bunch. Needless to say, it was one of my favourites of that year and I awaited a follow up with baited breath.
According to the band this follow up, now entitled Where Wilderness Grows, has taken a lot longer to arrive than originally planned. Dissatisfaction with original recording sessions for the album led to a second attempt this summer with producer Neil Comber that has, finally, yielded the band’s vision in full. Bushe himself detailed how the last two years have changed their music, ‘we are an altogether different band from the one that wrote A Dream Outside’ he said, but if new singles Mallory and Carrion prove anything it’s that they haven’t lost any of their spark or indeed their potential as one of the UK’s best guitar bands. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live on two occasions now and I can only hope everyone else with an eye on the Indie scene is as excited for a new album and tour as I am. In short, when Gengahr play Bristol this April, do not sleep on it.