Bleach Lab: Nothing Feels Real (Self-Released) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Bleach Lab

Nothing Feels Real


Oct 19, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Bleach Lab’s decision to work with iconic producer Stephen Street to produce their second EP, Nothing Feels Real, has certainly paid off as the band expand their already shimmering cinematic sound to reach dizzying new heights of sonic grandeur. Their debut EP, A Calm Sense of Surrounding, dealt with the hammer blows of grief and bereavement and demonstrated the band’s ability to write music of substance that can move, inspire, and comfort. Nothing Feels Real isn’t a concept EP in the same way as their debut, but it still exudes a gorgeous languid beauty, with Street’s subtle and nuanced production adding just the right amount of polish to Bleach Lab’s overall sound. Jenna Kyle’s graceful vocal radiates a kind of bruised nobility whilst Frank Wates’ coruscating guitar flourishes illuminate each track and adds a shimmering sense of grandeur to proceedings.

“Real Thing” is reminiscent of The Sundays circa Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, a comparative touchstone that saw Bleach Lab admit that, until recently, they had never heard of The Sundays. But they were flattered and suitably impressed enough to lean into that comparison slightly to see where it took them, whilst retaining their own unique take on things.

Previous single, the beautifully contemplative “Talk It Out,” sees Kyle addressing mental health and overcoming toxic relationships, whilst the affecting “Violet Light” with its gentle Johnny Marr style guitar jangle was written by bassist Josh Longman when reflecting on the death of his father. In the press notes Longman says of the track that “during Lockdown I went to live with my mum as otherwise, we both would have been on our own. I think the idea to write a song entirely about [my father] came to me during that period as I got to dig out old family photos. I think this track has really helped me overcome a lot of things that maybe I thought I would never talk about. Nothing Feels Real as an EP title definitely is how I’d describe the situation I was in.”

“Inside My Mind” falls somewhere between Mazzy Star and The Cranberries, infused with languid grace and pensive beauty. The EP closes with “Then I Know” and conveys a feeling that perhaps learning lessons from the past in terms of romantic liaisons might lead to healthier outcomes. It’s a nicely realized EP full of elegance and imbued with a quiet dignity from a band that posses an ability to mesmerize the listener without resorting to gimmicks or artifice. And that is very much down to the sheer quality of Bleach Lab’s sublime music, which comes from a very real place. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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