Gengahr’s debut album, A Dream Outside, was one of dainty guitar ditties, connected by mellowed out drum-tracks and soothing bass lines. Their sophomore release, Where Wildness Grows, is of a similar ilk; though the sound developed on Where Wildness Grows definitely sees Gengahr enhance their ethereal quiddity. With a 3 year gap between releases, the refined nature of their sound is obvious, and still quintessentially graceful.
There’s something almost cathartic about Where Wildness Grows, particularly when the chance to nurse a full-album listening arises. Beginning with the soaring and delicate ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘Mallory’, Gengahr demonstrate that they are able to maintain their ability to intrinsically mollify a number of instruments into one smooth soundscape, without sounding wishy-washy or dull. ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ is another show of this, with sun-tinted melodies and dulcet vocals merging perfectly in a tender indie track.
The first half of Where Wildness Grows culminates with the album’s title track – an emphatic offering with fairy-tale style backing vocals adding to its panoramic and touching sound. ‘Blind Truth’ sees the so-far delicate album take a scuzzy turn down a dark alley, incorporating pedal-heavy guitars with a more cinematic and almost sinister sound coming to play. As the album progresses into its final stages, so does the listener’s sonic ideal of a sunset, instead being replaced by the picture of a band intent on dispelling generics. Tracks such as ‘Left In Space’ and ‘Blinding Air’ shatter the frail perception of Gengahr, and indicate their ability to adopt different sounds, yet remain true to their roots.
Closing the album in quite a sanguine manner, ‘Whole Again’ focuses upon determination, optimism, and yearning; a matrix Gengahr have no doubt experienced, and consequently exemplified in their break between albums, and their new-found confidence and clarity of sound.
Often, a second album can too easily slip into being a repetition of the first – not in the case of Where Wildness Grows. A paradigm of complex melodies, atmospheric effects, and impeccable cohesion between instruments, Where Wildness Grows is a supreme, and different sound for Gengahr.
Where Wildness Grows is available via Gengahr’s website.
Words by Jasmin Robinson