Gengahr’s second album is a colourful and delicate offering that has slowly blossomed from the cracks, the edges and the rough; from Where Wildness Grows.
This is an album that feels like a deep inhale and an even longer exhale, a beautiful return that sees the band feeling more comfortable in their own skin than ever before.
Yet this progression didn’t come so easily. True to its name, the ‘difficult second album’ saw the band struggle to create a body of work that would meet all their ambitions and fully capture what ‘Gengahr’ meant to them. Out of this grey, rocky time finally emerged a record of textures, a thoughtful patchwork that balances the breezy with the electric, and explores positivity and introspectiveness.
Lead singles “Carrion”, “Mallory” and “Before Sunrise” give an accurate taste for the rest of the LP, with the urgency and depth of the former and the sunny, carefree tones of the latter making them clear standouts.
The first half of Where Wildness Grows is packed with panoramic indie-psych rock toned to perfection. “Is This How You Love” showcases Gengahr’s trademark love for melody and distortion and is followed by another highlight in the shape of “I’ll Be Waiting”. The track evokes choppy early Maccabees-esque guitars, sealed with the unmistakable sound of frontman Felix Bushe’s vocals lamenting lost love: “Still in love with you, that’s alright I’ll be waiting / Nothing I won’t do’. This tenderness and honesty continues throughout, whether lyrically on “Blind Truth” or in the atmosphere of “Left in Space”. Artistic in every sense, each track adds a splodge of paint or a sweeping stroke to the blank Where Wildness Grows canvas.
Despite coming back refreshed, one thing is for certain; Gengahr haven’t lost the soluble quality of their sound, every intricacy has the ability to melt right in. Elegant and artful to its core, Where Wildness Grows is an impressive step forward from a band who seemingly have more to prove to themselves than anyone else.