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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

Swirling sound: Bleach Lab at Sidney & Matilda

The London-based indie-pop outfit kick off a promising year with a bang.

28 January 2024 at
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Daniel Atherton.

Bleach Lab are a dynamic quartet coming off the back of a big 2023 where they released their debut album Lost in a Rush of Emptiness to critical acclaim. Music magazine Dork named the album in their top 20 of the year and 2024 promises to be even bigger, with a number of festival appearances already booked in including a return to Sheffield at Tramlines this summer. But the small room of Sidney & Matilda was the destination for this gig, providing a tight yet charming setting for the four-piece dream pop band.

The support for the night were gothic rock band Velkro, who were making their Sheffield debut. Only formed a matter of months ago in Hull, their haunting yet melodic songs were very easy on the ears. Expect more from them this year as they continue to define their mysterious sound.

Taking the stage, Bleach Lab open with ‘Indigo’, the second track from their debut. The gorgeous, woozy track embodies the record’s theme of a toxic relationship coming to an end with an agonising narrative. Lead singer Jenna Kyle’s ability to combine cutting vocals with the juxtaposition of upbeat guitar hooks is incredibly impressive. ‘All Night’ is punchy yet beautifully melodic, whilst the stripped back ‘Saving All Your Kindness’ is glowing and wonderfully smooth in its delivery. The lyrics “Is there someone you're holding out for? / Baby, I've been lying to myself” expresses the song’s nostalgic theme, and Kyle’s heart-wrenching vocals captures this perfectly.

Older songs from earlier EPs such as the infectious ‘Real Thing’ and the shimmering ‘Old Ways’ prove to be crowd favourites. Ending on ‘Everything at Once’ is an excellent touch. as the lively, swirling sound combined with pounding drums showcases their varied songwriting abilities. This strong performance makes Bleach Lab a must-see on the festival circuit this summer.

by Daniel Atherton (he/him)

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