The trouble with being frantically lauded for an EP is that listeners adopt a similarly frenzied stance towards a debut album. Thankfully, Douglas Dare has shrugged off the numbing shackles of anticipation and crafted Whelm, a record so personal that its brutal lyrics could have been scribbled in earnest across the pages of a scruffy diary. From the tumbling piano keys of ‘Whitewash’ to the slinking groove of ‘Unrest’, Dare’s unwavering lilt provides much of the LP’s poignancy, epitomised within the sweeping heartbreak of ‘Repeat’, although ‘Swim’’s fractured, shattering crescendo lingers longer than the rest. Bitterly lovelorn and wickedly haunting, Whelm will chill you to your bones.
BUY: Douglas Dare – Whelm
LIVE: Birthdays – May 16th