Album: W.H. Lung – Vanities review

by Dave Bertram

The Calder Valley’s new dance men dish out infectious electronica

Fresh out of lockdown, fresh from a migration from Manchester to Todmorden, and with a fresh perspective on their approach to electronica, W.H. Lung have taken the Krautrock rhythms of their debut, Incidental Music, onto the dancefloor on the nine-track melody-laden, Vanities.

Airier, lighter and cleaner than their Calder Valley classmates, Working Men’s Club, the new record finds them creating more breathing room among the beats and big synths – fully embracing a synth-pop propulsion.

Early highlight, Pearl in the Palm, sprawls unrelentingly like a James Murphy track: employing funky guitar spurts and group vocals that you might find on Arcade Fire’s Everything Now – just without the cringy lines and tired delivery.

Ways of Seeing pulses around infectious synth melodies, evoking the College and Electro Youth classic, A Real Hero, with its staccato bass synth loop and simple chord progression, while ARPi is softer still, migrating the beat to lock in with the synths wonderfully as Joe Evans’ whisper gathers momentum.

Previous single, Showstopper, is as aggressive as it gets and showcases the group’s ability to pen some big melody, floor-filler choruses, yet still manages to remain understated. And it’s almost impossible to not nod your head to seven-minute closer, Kala.

It’s the space that provides the impact here among the melodic instrumentation – the space making the noise between the beats and synths. So dive in – there are some behemoths to discover here that need airtime.

Check out our exclusive interview with W.H. Lung in zine 10 – details here.

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