After a period of what felt like forever, London quartet Gengahr returned with their sophomore album, Where Wildness Grows, last month, which was a heavier slice of their already trademark indie, falsetto pop. We said that each track has, “The power to introduce an all new chapter to this band’s incredible sound,” and their live performance showcased an entirely different, more unique sound as a result of this, as well as more than a few from A Dream Outside, in a spectacular performance at The Haunt.
Through their signature dreamy psychedelic vibes, Gengahr are easily one of the freshest rising indie acts currently coming out of the UK. Following their monumental debut of A Dream Outside in 2015, the band have now returned with their second feature release, Where Wildness Grows, bringing with them 12 tracks which each have the power to introduce an all new chapter to this band’s incredible sound.
It was great to see Gengahr back in Brighton again, just over a year after they kicked off their first UK tour at the Komedia. Without any new material online to tease fans ahead of these shows, and after quite a long period of radio silence, I did find myself wondering what sort of a crowd the guys were going to be able to pull tonight. I needn’t have been concerned though, it seems that during their absence word-of-mouth has continued to travel about Gengahr. While they took to the Green Door Store’s stage for an extended line check of their instruments the room filled up with young, beaming faces and we prepared to settle in for a night of groovy, dreamy guitar pop.
Gengahr kicked off their first headline tour here in Brighton, which was a bit of an honour. We’ve been big fans in the BrightonsFinest offices ever since their hook-laden earworm track ‘She’s A Witch’ came to our attention and they have yet to disappoint with a strong début album (A Dream Outside) and more recently a surprise three track EP which I also enjoyed (Tired Eyes EP). Brighton had been engulfed in a horrendous, post-work downpour earlier, soaking me to the bone. For any other band this might have made me stay home next to the fire but for Gengahr I dried myself off as quickly as I could and headed back out in time to catch the support set from Puma Rosa.
Gengahr took us all by surprise and dropped a new EP earlier this week: Tired Eyes proceeds a deluxe version of their début album A Dream Outside, which came out on 30th of September with four additional tracks. Both coincide with a UK tour that begins here in Brighton next week – of course we’ll be there to catch the action. Tired Eyes seems to be a digital only release but perhaps the band will have some physical copies for the merch stand on tour – we recently heard that record sales at live gigs is now going to be counted towards the charts, so maybe we’ll be seeing more of this over the next few years!
The first track BrightonsFinest heard from Gengahr was ‘She’s A Witch’ and we were obsessed. Their early Radiohead vibe with a sunnier disposition is a guaranteed pull that will get stuck on repeat throughout the summer. The North London four-piece (Felix, Danny, John and Hugh) have supported stadium tours with Alt-J and The Maccabees, a well as a successful showcase for the BBC at SXSW festival in Texas and are now getting regular radio play on BBC 6Music with their latest single ‘Heroine’. They are quickly becoming one of the UK’s newest ‘must see’ bands and having seen them recently at Bleach and The Great Escape, it is easy to see why. I caught up with Felix Bushe (lead singer/guitar) and Hugh Schulte (bass) to find out about their newest album A Dream Outside and their musical journey up to this point.
Gengahr are a fantastic young four-piece from North London who have brought out their début album this summer following a great breakthrough year which saw them touring with the likes of Alt-J, Maccabees, Dry The River and Jungle. No doubt they picked up plenty of new fans along the way as they’re a brilliant live group. I recently saw them at The Haunt as a Saturday night headliner during The Great Escape Festival and this feels like a band that has truly arrived. Their melodic indie rock sound has me excited and nostalgic for all the things I loved most about the mid-90s, but that’s probably just because that was the era I was a teenager, and the heady mix of styles and sounds these boys create actually has a far more timeless quality. ‘Dizzy Ghost’ begins the album with the sort of quiet to loud contrast I’ve not seen since the early 90’s. It reminds a little of The Longpigs in the way the chorus comes smashing in after the gentler sparse verse and there’s also something Smashing Pumpkins-esque in the way those heavy, fuzzy distortions contrast with the sweet, troubled vocal.