Listen: Whitelands Share New Single ‘Setting Sun’ via Sonic Cathedral

Whitelands Share New Single ‘Setting Sun’ via Sonic Cathedral.

Combining the sadness from George Floyd’s murder with the anger of the ensuing reactions that followed, Whitelands take on a lyrically heavier tune for the band’s second hit with Sonic Cathedral.

“It’s another song of sadness from the Black diaspora,” states singer and guitarist Etienne. “It is an unfortunate thing to write about, but as it keeps happening then songs will continue to get written.”

‘Setting Sun’, a title inspired by the Sundown towns of the United States, the all-white neighbourhoods with their discriminatory local laws and unprovoked violence, carries a post-punk bassline that is powered by words surrounding racism, tokenism, and performative ignorance.

“There are lots of places that may not be openly hostile to you, but a Confederacy flag is enough to let you know how welcome you are there,” says Etienne. “Seeing the England flag gives us the same vibes. The UK has a history of oppression and racism, and those values are enforced and embedded. Patriotism has that connotation. People like to incriminate themselves – just let them talk, stay quiet, poke and prod, and stuff just comes out.”

Frustration becomes the main motif of the track and as the song goes on you can spot a rise in tension through louder electric strings, faster drums, and a uniquely identifiable bass sequence.

A strong sense of DIIV can be heard throughout, but Whitelands’ dedication to storytelling and the ability to turn such a hard-hitting subject into this melodic masterpiece is what sets them apart.

Photo by Sidney Kwok

The new issue of So Young is out now. You can purchase in print here or read the digital edition below.