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Listen: London’s Whitelands Sign to Sonic Cathedral and Share ‘Born In Understanding’

A solo project turned four-piece, Whitelands have previously been connected with the term ‘soul-gaze’, a seemingly perfect tag for their newest single – ‘Born In Understanding’.

With the idea of “waiting until the right moment hits” at the core of both its meaning and its creation, ‘Born In Understanding’ has been in the making for two years and marks Whitelands’ first release since signing to Sonic Cathedral. After stumbling across shoegaze through a suggested Slowdive KEXP live session, Whitelands have come full circle, with ‘Born In Understanding’ being mastered by Slowdive drummer, Simon Scott. This discovery led to deep dives into the likes of AR Kane and The Veldt, pioneers of a black presence in the world of shoegaze.

The layers of ‘Born In Understanding’ are cushioned by whirring harmonies in a clouded and ultimately weightless soundscape, yet the track is softly anchored by the central riff that underlies its entirety. Hitting the same soft spots as tracks such as Pavement’s ‘Grounded’, and with an understated vocal delivery reminiscent of vocalists like Greg Gonzalez, ‘Born In Understanding’ is slow-burning and yearning as it grasps a bittersweetness born from held notes and buffered drum crashes. As their first few steps with Sonic Cathedral, this release is vast and vulnerable, which is nothing but a good omen for the road ahead.

Photo by Sidney Kwok

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