Deriving their name from Gengar, one of the original Pokemon, the acclaimed London-based indie act Gengahr — Felix Bushe, John Victor, Hugh Schulte and Danny Ward — can trace their origins to when its members met at the Stoke Newington School. Their debut single “Fill My Gums With Blood” caught the attention of BBC Radio 1‘s Huw Stephens — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, the band wound up playing at the BBC Introducing Stage at 2014’s Glastonbury Festival.
Since then the band has released two critically applauded albums — 2015’s debut effort A Dream Outside and 2018’s Where Wildness Grows. Sanctuary, Gengahr’s highly-anticipated Jack Steadman-produced third album is slated for a Friday release through Liberator Music. Reportedly, the album finds the band ambitiously pushing their sound in a decidedly pop leaning director, while attempting to recapture the magic and vibe that the quartet felt while writing and recording their full-length debut. Interestingly, the album, which is largely influenced by Homer’s Odyssey, also reportedly finds the band’s primary songwriter Felix Bushe tapping into personal pain — but while throwing punches and fighting.
Late last year, I wrote about the slinky and shimmering single “Heavenly Maybe.” Featuring a funky, disco-like groove, “Heavenly Maybe” was imbued with a world weary ennui centered around the experience of partying as a way to distract oneself from their serious, real-life problems. “Icarus” Sanctuary‘s third and latest single is a wistful, M83-like song, centered around a sinuous and propulsive bass line, a motorik-like groove, four-on-the-floor-like drumming and Bushe’s plaintive vocals. And while featuring some enormous, soaring hooks, the track is imbued with the awareness of the passing of time; that adulthood ain’t easy: it’s full of dashed dreams, compromises, disappointment and the awareness that nothing in this world works the way it should.
““Icarus” is a song about growing up and coming to terms with the expectations of our youth. As a child we believe anything is possible but as we get older there is a crushing realisation as we begin to understand that the journey of life has its own uncontrollable trajectory.” the band explains in press notes.
Directed by the band’s long-time visual collaborator Dave East, the recently released lyric video for “Icarus” was shot in Cape Town, South Africa and depicts a car driving down a mountain road at night, seemingly in search of another hill, another mountain to climb, another bit of road sliding by.
Gengahr will be touring across the UK and European touring throughout much of the winter before heading off to Australia to play festival dates. Check out the tour dates below.
31st January – INSTORE: Kingston – Banquet Records
1st February – INSTORE: Wokingham – Beyond The Download
1st February – INSTORE: Portsmouth – Pie & Vinyl
2nd February – INSTORE: Marlborough – Sound Knowledge
3rd February – INSTORE: London – Rough Trade East
4th February – INSTORE: Nottingham – Rough Trade
5th February – INSTORE: Bristol – Rough Trade
13th February – UK: Manchester – Band On The Wall *#
14th February – UK: Leeds – Brudenell Social Club (Main Room) *#
16th February: UK: Glasgow – King Tuts *#
17th February: IRE: Dublin – The Sound House *#
19th February: UK: Bristol – Fleece *#
20th February: UK: Brighton – Patterns *#
21st February: UK: London – EartH *#
24th February: FR: Paris – Le Pop-Up Du Label *
25th February: BE: Brussels – VOLTA *
26th February: DE: Cologne – Blue Shell *
27th February: DE: Berlin – Maze *
28th February: DE: Munich – folks! *
29th February: DE: Hamburg: Molotow Skybar *
2nd March: NE: Amsterdam – Paradiso (Upstairs) *
10th March: NZ: Auckland – Neck Of The Woods
13th March: AUS: Sydney – Lansdowne
14th March: AUS: Melbourne – Howler
14th August: UK: Atherstone – 110 Above Festival
* = with Fake Laugh
# = with Bessie Turner