South London's very own Bleach Lab have only been on the up since their emergence in 2019. Ethereal and dreamy, their latest release, Sleep, is exactly what it says on the tin. The softness of the vocals along with the ebbing and flowing of the background track make for yet another beautiful release from this four piece.
With endlessly zen tunes and an aesthetic to match, we got to know these up and comers, chatting their emergence, the inspiration that comes with heartache, and the dreams of future tours.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for? Frank: Josh and I have been writing music together for 3 years. We met as part of another music project but we didn't like where it was going so we defected and started our own one.
Josh: I knew Jenna from college and reached out to her to be our vocalist in 2017. Shawn: Then I met Josh at a party and the rest is history.
Jenna: We started writing all together in 2018 and released our debut single at the end of 2019. At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
Frank: I had a go at it twice. I was in a band at school but then put it on hold for 5 years and decided to pick it back up 4 years ago, which is when I met Josh. I really just wanted a reason to keep playing guitar.
Jenna: I realised as a teenager that I got so much fulfilment out of doing something creative even just as a hobby, and the concept that it could be turned into a career made it even more tempting.
Josh: For me, I was 17 when I realised I wasn’t particularly academic at school but I was good at music and didn’t want to do anything else.
Shawn: Yeah same story for me, although come to think of it…I actually failed music. What is the main source of influence for your songwriting? Josh: Jenna and I play the biggest role in the lyrics/ideas behind our music and as lame as it sounds, they have often based on our past heartaches and relationships. However, we have been writing a lot during lockdown and are definitely moving away from this. What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music? Jenna: I think having launched as a band during this really difficult time, we've all had to learn recently that patience is a virtue and timing is really important.
Josh: Yeah, I agree. Especially when dealing with all our different expectations and ideas of where we want to be as a band.
Frank: For me, I learnt pretty quickly that I knew nothing about songwriting. I really had to start from scratch and taught myself from there.
Shawn: I never realised how difficult I was to keep in contact with. The band whatsapp group is constant. It’s hard to keep up. What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry? Frank: How expensive it is to be in a band at the start. It requires a lot of money to even get yourself off the ground. I always knew it would cost a bit, especially when you are an independent band but once you take into account everything from rehearsals and recording, it really adds up.
Jenna: I would liked to have known there would be worldwide pandemic a couple of months after our first gig. Would've been great to have had a heads up on that - thanks WHO. Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in? Josh: When we played a live session with BBC Introducing Three Counties, I remember they played a track called ‘Beaujolais’ by Campsie. I remember loving her sound.
Frank: My favourite South London artist is Alaskalaska. Their debut album last year was so great. I was stood in front of their singer in a queue at Aldi the other day and got very excited.
Jenna: I'm living down in Brighton myself. There are countless talented upcoming artists here but to name a couple i'd say LIME and ELLiS D. What would your dream tour & rider look like? Frank: I think for us, to be able to go on tour with Mazzy star would be the absolute dream although I have always wanted to tour with Sharon van Etten and Daughter (now EX:RE). Josh: Yeah, I agree that would be incredible. In terms of rider though my 3 staples would be coffee, tequila and Wasabi take-out.
Frank: I actually agree Wasabi sushi would be great.
Jenna: I have a confession…whenever I've been slightly late for practice in London - Wasabi is usually to blame. A little detour never hurt anyone.
Shawn: Wow, who knew we all loved Wasabi so much. If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose? Jenna: Our currently released tracks we feel could fit any moody teen drama really. However, what we have been writing during lockdown we recently joked sounded like the perfect backing track to a BBC drama trailer. It definitely seems to have taken a more dramatic turn.
Frank: One of the film soundtracks that blew my mind was Lost In Translation. The music fitted so perfectly. I wish our music could soundtrack something like that. What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist? Frank: I have always dreamed of doing a US tour. Throw in a KEXP session and I think I could die happy.
Josh: To play Ally Pally has always been a goal of mine but to win an Ivor Norvello award would be the highest achievement I could ever hope for.
Shawn: For me it’s just to go on tour. I don’t really care where I just want to do back to back shows. I miss playing live a lot.
Jenna: I agree, I really want to do a whole summer of festivals.