04 Jul, Saturday
15° C

Wynona Bleach release new EP Sugar

This electrifying 5 piece from Belfast, N.I., are about to break out. Formally known as R51, they’ve toured Russia (6,000 mile tour with 12 gigs in as many days), played the BBC Introducing Stage @ Reading and Leeds Festival, supported Feeder and most recently The Slow Readers Club as well as playing BBC’s “Across The Line” birthday at Ulster Hall alongside Therapy? and debuting new tracks to the Speakeasy crowd for BBC Introducing NI in October. Support comes from BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Ulster, Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 Music, press and promoters alike!

Wynona Bleach has declared their arrival with the release of their debut EP, Sugar and lead single, ‘Eyes Burning’. “The guitars rise up like fuzz-mountains and the melodies are strangely sweet. It’s a rich combination and the critic who invented the term “gaze-pop” may be onto something” says the legendary Stuart Bailie. ‘Eyes Burning’ is a song about absolute belief – a signature of the Wynona Bleach method. It’s a celebration of the creative life. The band members, based in Belfast, are familiar with all-night industry and epic results. Guitarist Jonny Woods explains it thus: “Staying up late and doing the things you’ve done your whole life may seem to take a toll on your body – like your eyes are burning. But if you think it’s really important, do it. Be 100% about it.”

The other audio delights on the EP are glorious indie rock tunes reminiscent of acts such as the Smashing Pumpkins, Curve and The Joy Formidable. “Say It Now” was written on a ‘creative high’ by lead guitarist and backing vocalist, Jonny Woods. They had about 3 different choruses before lead singer, Melyssa, settled on “I wish you wouldn’t say it now” which was a nod to never talking about you’re true feelings around people.

Wynona Bleach - The Limelight, Belfast
Wynona Bleach performing at The Limelight, Belfast in May 2018.

“Cherrydream” on the other hand was written in roughly 15 mins after a long spell of creative block for Jonny, and is quickly becoming a fan favourite. The EP was close to mastering completion when Jonny woke up with “Sugar” playing around in his head that it HAD to be recorded the same day and included onto the EP. Catchy as hell, this will be the second single.

Jonny and co wrote the lyrics to “Graves” in the vein of Blondie. After this old demo riff was played over and over again in rehearsals it just had to become its own track. “Honestly, I’m Fine” was born after guitarist Aaron Black and Jonny spent nights working in the studio in an effort to experiment with as many different creative methods they could, eventually writing it whilst extremely inebriated! It’s a window into what it’s like to tell everyone you’re okay when you’re not. It’s ‘out-of-tune rawness’ was kept in the final mix to help get that across.

Bonus track, appearing on the limited numbered (to 250) edition green transparent vinyl version, “Write to Death” is one of the many demos the band never finished. This track won’t be available online or anywhere else. It’s a song about feeling like you are not connected to the world at all ‘like a normal human being’.

Their new songs are soaring, surprising and various. Like the best acts, they play with a near-telepathic grace. ‘Sugar EP’ is the story of the dedication that has brought them thus far. If this is what these kids do, they should do more of it!

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