Released: 19th March 2021
Nestled within South London’s indie scene, four-piece Bleach Lab, ride the turbulent tides of grief in their debut EP, ‘A Calm Sense Of Surrounding’.
The inspiration behind the record stems from two traumatic experiences for both the bassist, Josh Longman and lead vocalist, Jenna Kyle. The intensity of each track ebb and flow towards anger and acceptance throughout; forming the aural equivalent to an ominous sky on the brink of unleashing a chaotic cloudburst.
These moments of havoc, however, are harmonious, illustrated by lashings of ethereal guitars and hushed vocals from Kyle to create dreamy backdrops. Rage is still palpable in some tracks such as ‘Old Ways’ which explores the resentment that can often form at the end of a long-term relationship. “You told a lie; you will regret it,” Kyle proclaims with a firmness to her vocals, exposing the frustrations of not being able to control your feelings despite what might’ve occurred.
‘Never Be’, the exquisite lead single, is a softly sung ballad depicting heartbreak’s more emotional challenges. Undeniable relatability in this body of work is demonstrated through lucid lyricism. “I don’t want to, but I forget everything / I will look for you in everyone I meet / But I won’t find you / So I could never be complete” illustrates the disorientation of when being alone is thrust upon you, learning to adapt and patch up the void previous partners leave.
‘Lighthouse’ is a brooding yet fast-paced melodic episode where drums find prominence in the chorus builds, while ‘Scars’ is an Americana-tinged affair that uncovers the effects of trauma, with Kyle reminding us that “time is a healer”, although it doesn’t always make the process any easier.
The amalgamation of indie and dream-pop showcases the stages of grief and how these can manifest through different experiences and perspectives. A vulnerable starting point, Bleach Lab are braving the storm like many right now; the EP being a lighthouse that’ll bring us safely back to shore.