“Smile For Me” by Bleach Lab

"Smile For Me" by Bleach Lab is Northern Transmission's Song of the Day
Bleach Lab photo by Polocho

Today, Bleach Lab share “Smile For Me” alongside a live session of the track, which is the latest single from their forthcoming debut album Lost In A Rush of Emptiness, out September 22nd via Nettwerk. Produced by Boygenius, PJ Harvey and The Big Moon collaborator Catherine Marks, the band recorded the album in the same room for the first time; a transformative move after forging their trio of explorative EPs while splintered apart by the isolation of lockdown.

On the new single, frontperson Jenna Kyle shares, “Lyrically, This was one of the most empowering but challenging songs to write on the album. The theme for ‘Smile For Me’ is of my own experience of sexual harassment, as well as experiences I know far too many women suffer themselves. Something I hear so often as a woman in public is being told to ‘cheer up, love’, if I’m not immediately, positively responsive to an unknown person’s advances. It’s completely deflating, infuriating and humiliating. The lyrics are intentionally directed at the culprits and offenders, words I would be too afraid to say in the moment if not for fear of the reaction.”

With Bleach Lab’s previous singles, “All Night”, “Counting Empties” and “Indigo,” off Lost In A Rush of Emptiness, the glimmering indie-rock band have built their foundations on what is essentially an exercise in joint catharsis. Rather than moving towards explosive reactions or culminating in a singular moment of revelation – here this is achieved by the band’s intentional burrowing deep into the disorientation of a life-altering moments and sitting with and dissecting those feelings. Each band member’s experiences live within Lost In A Rush Of Emptiness, with its title being a line borrowed from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous collection The Flame. Bassist Josh Longman, who plays a key role in the record’s lyricism alongside Jenna Kyle – wrote key tracks including the eviscerating “Counting Empties,” where he explores alcoholism – documenting and acknowledging how an old drinking habit impacted his relationships. A key thread through the record too is Kyle’s grappling with the fallout from a toxic relationship, but there’s also more universal moments too – such as on new single ‘Smile For Me’, where she recounts her frustrations and experiences of sexual harassment, exploring the tension between both the simmering rage and feelings of powerlessness these encounters cause.

21-23rd July | Southwold, Suffolk | Latitude festival
23rd July | Emo, IE | Forest Festival
20th – 21st Oct | Rotterdam, NL | Left of the Dial festival
27 Oct | Amsterdam | London Calling Festival
28th Oct | Paris, FR | Supersonic
Fri, 3rd | Belfast | Ulster Sports Club
Sat, 4th | Dublin | The Grand Social
Mon 6th | Birmingham | Hare And Hounds
Tue 7th | Nottingham | Bodega Social Club
Weds, 8th | Manchester | Canvas
Fri, 10th | Glasgow | Stereo
Sat, 11th | Liverpool | District
Sun, 12th | Leeds | Brudenell Social Club
Tues, 14th | Bristol | Thekla
Weds, 15th | Brighton | Patterns
Thurs, 16th | London | Scala

Pre-Order Lost In a Rush Of Emptiness by Bleach Lab HERE


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