New Audio: London’s SANDS Returns with Icy and Brooding “When It Starts to Rain”

Andrew Sands is a London-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind rising shoegaze project SANDS. Influenced by Neil YoungDavid BowieThe SmithsDavid LynchTalk TalkEcho and the Bunnymen and a long list of others, Sands’ own music sees him seamlessly blending rock, psych rock and elements of pop. 

Since starting the project back in 2017, the London-based artist has released a handful of EPs and singles, including 2017’s S/T EP and “Let’s Run”/”Echoes,” 2018’s Waves Calling EP and “Tomorrow’s Gone”/”Burning Man” and 2019’s Nothing Can Go Wrong EP.

Sands’ highly-anticipated full-length debut, The World’s So Cruel is slated for an October 13, 2023. The album’s first single “Transmission” was written and produced at several London studio locations, including Hackney, South Bermondsey and his apartment. Built around glistening synths, buzzing guitar riffs, a relentlessly propulsive rhythm, a rousingly anthemic series of hooks and choruses paired with Sands’ plaintive delivery, the high energy “Transmission” manages to bring The Stone Roses and the Madchester sound to mind — but with a subtly modern take.

“Transmission” is inspired by the busy and eclectic Northeast London neighborhood that Sands once lived in. The lyrics capture the restless energy and activity of the neighborhood in a way that feels very familiar to me as a native New Yorker. And it does so in a way that feels a bit like a contented sigh of being home, and of awe of everything going on around you.

The World’s So Cruel‘s second and latest single is the brooding and icy “When It Stars to Rain.” Built around reverb-drenched guitars, skittering and swaggering boom bap-like drum patterns, a glitchy bridge paired with a scorching solo, “When It Starts to Rain” is a slick Stone Roses-like vehicle for the London-based artist’s plaintive vocal and his penchant for crafting remarkably catchy hooks and choruses. Sonically, the new single evokes the sense of daydreaming your way through busy, crowded streets, completely immersed in your thoughts and memories, as though you were in a hallucinatory fever dream of the present and your nostalgia.