Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day

Image of Whitelands - Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day

About this item

Whitelands are Etienne, Jagun, Vanessa and Michael and they are ostensibly a shoegaze band ever since Etienne stumbled across Slowdive’s KEXP session in his recommended videos on YouTube a few years ago. However, they come at the resurgent, Gen Z-soundtracking genre from a refreshingly different angle thanks to their mishmash of musical backgrounds. There’s also the fact that their line-up is fully PoC in what is traditionally seen as a predominantly white genre.

“There’s an underlying narrative that it’s OK for white men to be romantic, sensitive, emotional and make dreamy music and, by contrast, young Black men should be making angry music,” says Vanessa. “We’ve all grown up with these stereotypes and therefore I think people are mystified when they see Whitelands.” “I consume a lot of media,” says Etienne of his wide range of influences. “Videogames, music, news, paintings, manga, animations and film are my go-to, especially anime. There is this drive to want to understand and feel the whole weight of an expression. So, the songs are based on other songs, pictures, aesthetics, ‘vibes’, an emotion someone else felt. Fundamentally, you are what you eat.”

As a result of this diet, the lyrics are stunning, dealing with everything from unbalanced relationships and vulnerability to depression, being diagnosed with ADHD and, on the new single ‘Tell Me About It’ (featuring vocals by Dottie from the band’s Sonic Cathedral labelmates deary), trying to navigate love following that diagnosis.

The album is bookended by two poetically political songs – ‘Setting Sun’ and ‘Now Here’s The Weather’ – that deal with imperialism, racism and performative ignorance.

“We’ve experienced tokenism, micro-behaviours, envy and resentment,” concludes Vanessa. “So we feel we have to continually prove ourselves. We know we’re making a positive impact, but I want Whitelands to really break some barriers.”


Liam says: Massive shoegaze tip!!! I've been loving their track 'Tell Me About It' (which is complete ethereal bliss) for the past month and thankfully the rest of this LP from Whitelands lives up to the anticipation. With sprinklings of DIIV, Slowdive and even an appearance from fellow gazers Deary, 'Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day' is proper reverb drenched goodness that manages to avoid the derivative trappings many modern shoegaze acts can sometimes fall in to. It also has the Slowdive seal of approval as it was mastered by drummer Simon Scott, with the shoegaze legends also taking Whitelands out on tour with them - so how's that for a recommendation? MEGA!


1. Setting Sun
2. The Prophet & I
3. Cheer
4. Tell Me About It
5. How It Feels
6. Chosen Light
7. Born In Understanding
8. Now Here’s The Weather

Back to top