It’s not often you come across a British band who, before even releasing their first album, are finding themselves at the other side of the world enrapturing Japanese audiences. But then Pumarosa are no ordinary band.
It’s been a few years now since Pumarosa made their presence known with their seven minute epic “Priestess”. From the rumbling, eerie drone of a beginning, introducing us to Isabel Munez-Newsome’s incredible vocals, to the cacophonous ending, all saxophones and shredding guitars, it was a track to be in awe of.
It became clear that Pumarosa were a band that had a list of influences as long as their collective arm and yet sounded absolutely their own. Radiohead seems the most obvious comparison at first listen, particularly in their willingness to experiment with how they actually make music, but this belies just what Pumarosa are really about.
Their debut album, The Witch, finally lets us see that whole picture. They’re no one trick pony, instead building an album that remoulds itself with every track. It’s angrily political one minute, while celebrating the power of the body and embracing the spiritual the next. Creativity is far from in short supply here. Just when you think you’ve finally sussed them out, they hit you with another haymaker.
The Witch, in that sense, really is an unpredictable beast of a record; one that’s impossible not get excited about. Whether it’s the shimmering guitars and Grandaddy-esque bounce of the fantastic “My Gruesome Loving Friend” or the ferocious “Lion’s Den”, which grows towards an ending likely to take your breath away, each shift is as captivating and surprising as the last.
For Munez-Newsome, dancing is a primal thing and The Witch undoubtedly taps into that primal instinct to make it impossible not to want to move with the music. Suddenly it becomes clear why Pumarosa have garnered fans across the global before their first album is out there.
Here is an album that embraces every fibre of your being; generous in its awe-inspiring and beautiful moments. It’ll keep you guessing every minute of its hour long run. It’s uniquely Pumarosa and there’s nothing else quite like it.