Bleach Lab – ‘A Calm Sense of Surrounding’ | EP Review

bleach lab band 2021

Hailing from South London, Bleach Lab ride the waves of grief in ‘A Calm Sense Of Surrounding’


The EP transcends in both concept and execution, melding together two traumatic experiences: the breakdown of singer Jenna Kyle’s relationship and the death of bassist Josh Longman’s father. The pair come together to produce five songs representative of the different stages of grief. Speaking about the project Kyle said: “We wanted to create something that would allow us to move on, and hopefully help those listening who relate to do the same”.

Opening track ‘Old Ways’ explores the breakdown of a long-term relationship. Layers of guitar and reverb-drowned vocals create a calming yet melancholic atmosphere. Lyrics, ‘Looking back on us, how we used to be’ and You told a lie, you will regret it’, reflect feelings of anger and resentment. ‘Never Be’ provides contrast. Kyle pleads, ‘I will look for you in everyone I meet, but I won’t find you, so I could never be complete’, in a delicate ballad about heartbreak. 
Emotions continue to run high on ‘Lighthouse’. Accelerated drum patterns build throughout, eventually landing to make way for the ethereal flow of Kyle’s siren-like vocal. 

‘Flood’ is when the four-piece reach the pinnacle of the record, overwhelmed by the ebb of depression. Kyle described ‘Flood’ as: “One long metaphor for being completely overwhelmed by someone and losing all sense of control when you’re with them”. This is evident in lyrics, ‘I’m drowning in my skin, you broke me from within, you never felt a thing’.
‘Scars (Time Is A Healer)’ infuses a hint of country into the project, swapping the atmospheric melancholy for a simple guitar rhythm. Lyrics, ‘I’ve been lying awake, reflecting all my mistakes, but no more’, close the EP with a hopeful acceptance.

Bleach Lab gracefully navigate denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance in a raw and vulnerable first EP. ‘A Calm Sense Of Surrounding’ is an intimate blend of dream pop that takes you on a journey through darkness, then out into the light.

Words by Vanessa Valentine.

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