A Dream Outside is the stunning debut release from London foursome Gengahr. The bands previous records, EP’s released last year including She’s a Witch and Powder/ Bathed in Light, received critical acclaim and helped them gain a following who have been eagerly awaiting their debut album. On Friday, Gengahr hosted an album release party at the Rio Cinema in London, those attending included Superfood and Peace, see our review of the night here.
Over the past few years, psychedelic music has reached heights of success that previous music of the genre haven’t achieved, Tame Impala have become alternative icons, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s music only gets better. However Gengahr are mixing this psychedelic formula with pop music, and it’s working.
Dizzy Ghosts opens the record; starting of melodically slow, soon heavy guitars come in before again slowing down. Quintessential Gengahr vocals cover the album, and each track see’s them use this vocal in a different way. Dizzy Ghosts is a heavier, rockier track and shows more experimentation within the psychedelic genre. Dark Star is a highlight on the album, again showing this experimentation, the song being almost instrumental, the vocals being very faint background noise, occasionally bursting through but mainly letting the drums and guitar shine out in front.
Embers again heralds electric guitar, a fast paced track with a unique sound. Drums throughout drive the pace, never ceasing their rhythm. The vocals also take a new turn, with more riffs and tones. She’s a Witch is one of the tracks that made Gengahr’s name last year, with strong comparisons to Tame Impala being drawn, but still unique with layered vocals and a catchy chorus, it evokes dreamy but disturbing images, ‘I’ve got a witch that cries all the time’. Heroine, a previous single is an infatuating song, with romanticism encrusted in it ‘you can be my heroin; all you need to do is wait for me’. Its anthemic quality is fit for radio airways, similar to their other single Bathed in Light. The track has an echo quality to it, with dreamy chords and entrancing harmonies.
Fill My Gums with Blood is another stand out on the record, opening with spindly chords before drums start to carry the track along. The second to penultimate song on the album, it begins to end A Dream Outside with a more distressing conclusion. ‘Fill my gums with blood, now you know it’s true your loves not enough’. Sporadic electric guitar chords surface throughout and give it a haunting feel.
A Dream Outside is a romantic, yet haunting record, and explores all charts of emotions, and offers an assortment of all the band has been working on for the past year. The album ranges from Witches to phantoms, a delve into the unreal, a sonic experimentation that is bound to make Gengahr’s debut well deserving success.
Words by Daisy Lester