Having first performed for us back in 2019, it is fair to say things have been going rather well for West London-based shoegazers Whitelands ever since. Describing themselves as, “bedroom dreampop and shoegaze by black dudes”, the band have recently signed with the legendary Sonic Cathedral label. With big plans for the year ahead, they started in style with their brilliant single “Born in Understanding” drawing acclaim from almost every site and radio station that heard it.
Whitelands were formed back in 2017 after singer and guitarist Etienne Quartey-Papafio stumbled across shoegaze via a happy accident when a love of Midwest emo led him to first Beach House and Alvvays and then a YouTube algorithm through up Slowdive’s KEXP live session. As Etienne recalls, “It completely blew my mind”. With a bold ambition to “make a mark on history, however long that takes”, the way Whitelands are going you wouldn’t bet against them doing just that.
Named after one of London’s most loved and at the time of its construction, most controversial, housing complexes, Barbican Estate are a Japanese trio formed in Tokyo and as of last year based in London. Back in March, they released their self-titled EP, a collection of psychedelia, no wave and experimental rock. As influenced by art, cinema and ancient history as any particular genre the band set out to “embody an art that is not limited by the concept of music”. Intriguing and exciting in equal measure, they have just released their brilliant new EP The Fall.