After a three-year pause, London’s Gently Tender return; signing to So Young Records, and sharing their latest single ‘Dead Is Dead’.
“I am the question that cannot be answered, I am the lover that cannot be lost. Yet small are the gifts of my servant, the soldier. For time is my offspring, pray what is my name?” – ‘My Name Is Death’, The Incredible String Band.
We spend our lives waiting for a taste of something better; a pungent morsel of great-expectations, or a nourishing burst of future endeavours. So eager are we to explore the infinite unknown, present focus is quick to be lost in a wash of deep-rooted-dread. Which leads to the question of: Why save the best bite ‘til the end, when we could shift the focus and swallow life as a whole?
A thoroughly captivating tale of legacy and self-realisation, ‘Dead Is Dead’ is a stunning depiction of Gospel, mantra, and bare-bone-baritone. Whilst the instrumentation soars to the high-heavens above, Sam Fryer’s vocals undulate in tides of emotive storm; like the rocky heart of a wave clinging to its last thread- a naturally crashing prospect destined for a murky, yet spiritually-submissive, eternity.
Curiously illustrative like an A.H. Weber painting- all cosmic-freedom, and macabre-danceability, in ‘Dead Is Dead’, we run laps around the great rings of Saturn, the unknown, and Gently Tender. Immersive, unhinged, and universally thought-provoking- think Holy Mountain meets Matthew E. White in a battle of tarot and revolutionary-psychedelia- this is everything you’d want from anthemic cosmology, and then some.
In short, ‘Dead Is Dead’ is as huge as it is intimate. As imperfectly human, as it is flawless. If the ribcage is the gate-keeper to the soul, then Gently Tender are the ones with the keys to it all. This may well be one of the greatest returns this side of the second coming.
Gently Tender head out on tour with The Big Moon in May. Tickets on sale now.
Photo by Jody Evans
The new issue of So Young is out now. Porridge Radio are on the cover and there’s an interview with Gently Tender inside. Buy in print here or read the digital edition below.