Album Review: Dwellings – Lavender Town

As a whole, Lavender Town sits comfortably within the indie genre. Supplemented by lots of rock guitar riffs, the infrequent but precise use of guttural screaming and growls is apparent in many of the songs without becoming overused and stale; instead they provide emphasis and have an intense effect.

“Pink Noise” is unavoidable as an opening track, laying the foundations for the rest of the album with palpable urgency and a clear introduction to the band’s debut sound. Although indie-rock lovers may be anticipating an opener such as this one, this sledgehammer of an introduction will either make listeners turn it up… or turn it off – the latter being something I would strongly advise you against doing. So stick with it, as the opener is not reflective of the album’s entire sound.

After “Pink Noise” comes the gentler, but more stereotypically indie, “Sins as Wonders”. Laden with electric guitars, it is one of the album’s more typical rock-metal influenced songs, and when paired up with the album’s eighth track “Snake Charmer” – with its dreamy intro and outro –  potential these songs have for live settings is made clear.It would be interesting, however, to hear how these songs would sound acoustically on guitar (listen to ‘“A.T.M. At The Moment” for something similar) and even on piano in smaller clubs or bars, as stripping down a song can often reveal the power of its lyrical content.

“See it Through”, recently released as a single is one of the most important tracks in terms of  lyrics, with great poetry and standout aphorisms such as ‘To my surprise I cauterise the fact/ that I might be co-dependent on something but religion.’ Another striking line is ‘Makes my mind feel okay, keeps bad thoughts at bay/ and in turn there’s a sense of hate towards my drugs’ foregrounds the enduring effect of childhood bullying and isolation on its victims, which often surfaces in drug abuse and mental house issues. Both quotes are frank and personal; when lifted from the music, they read like diary confessions.

The music video explains this concept more clearly. Notably, at a time when mainstream pop music music is saturated with toxic depictions of glamorous partying and assumed gender role adherence, Dwellings has crafted a didactic social commentary with the aim of highlighting the irrefutable connection between bullying and addiction.

Members Wilson and Pacheco are communicating a very pertinent message on mental health, – and I for one am hopeful that any remaining singles waiting to be released will be as sensitively presented as this one. This is a well-constructed album that deserves success.

Sam Meleady

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