London quartet Landshapes are releasing their new album Contact on November 20, and following the recent psych single “Rosemary” they’re back with a double dose of pre-album goodness with the new tracks “Let Me Be” and “Drama”.
Once again, they’re unafraid to tackle massive topics, with “Let Me Be” being “an inside-out critique of white male self-entitlement” and “Drama” focusing on “the imbalance of emotional labour that can happen between men and women, and in those instances all the work women often have to do to manage and protect fragile egos,” according to the band.
Despite these sounding like arduous themes on paper, Landshapes’ invite you into a world of sound and texture that invites you to engage your senses as much as your critical thinking. “Let Me Be” finds them embodying the very male egos they’re critiquing, chanting in unison to sardonically demand freedom and recognition. All around these central vocals are slices of charged guitar and bubbling synths, creating a veritable feast of sonic textures. All this tension boils over as the percussion goes into overdrive for the thrilling breakdowns, and the foursome get to show off their instrumental prowess.
“Drama” is a slinky number, with hovering layers of synth that cut across the stereo field like lasers through dry ice, while vocals flutter and echo all around. Landshapes gradually build the imposing and gnashing undercarriage of the track, mirroring the unified strength of which they’re preaching, giving it a domineering and impressive heft that is undeniable.