London-based doom rockers White Swan are slinging sludge once again with the release of their second EP, The White.
It’s the second outing for the band, and in short order – just six months after the release of their debut EP, Anubis.
Recorded at Villa Studios by Alistair Sims over two and a half days in late March and April, The White is a more focused effort from the band. This time around the songs are stage-tested, being part of the band’s set list for a good six months before recording.
The band is made up of Mercedes Lander (vocals/keys/guitar) Kira Longeuay (bass) and Shane Jeffers (guitar).
With Anubis, Lander said, the band was still finding their footing, experimenting with tuning and changing things around. Many of the songs were written before the band even took stage. The White is a concentrated EP, developed on stage and in real time. With this release, the band is settling nicely into their pocket.
“We found something that works,” she said. “(The White) is more of an idea of what future releases are going to be like.”
In a world of blast beats and atonal screams, it’s melody that sets White Swan apart from other bands. Their mix of delay-driven harmonies over dirty droning chords sets a good backdrop for their other-worldly sound. It’s a mix of sludge, doom and metal. You can hear the Sabbath, and even Jefferson Airplane in the mix – all with a modern synth edge.
In a word, the EP is ethereal – it doesn’t sound real and yet it sucks you down deep into somewhere strange. Halfway through opening track North Caronlina, you’re already in the rabbit hole.
Getting there, however, required some major adjustments.
Lander said the most difficult transition from drummer to front man is definitely working the mic.
“I don’t feel like I’m really a singer. It’s like I’m just pretending,” she said. “I’m not 100 per cent comfortable but… it makes it unpredictable.”
You wouldn’t know listening to The White. It’s a complete package from start to finish, sinking deep into reverb-drenched vocals and drop-tuned madness.
The White chugs. It plods. It rocks. White Swan found their groove and exploited it for all it’s worth.
Get it while it lasts
The EP is coming out in both digital and turntable versions, releasing 300 copies of The White and Anubis as an A-side/B-side on purple vinyl.
Fans can reserve their copies through thewhiteswan.bandcamp.com.