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Whyte Horses are a glorious mystery. The band – if, indeed, they are a band – released debut album ‘Pop Or Not’ in 2016, achieving rapturous critical acclaim, including praise from Noel Gallagher and endless support from 6Music.
Enthralling baroque pop, Whyte Horses at once seem timeless and thoroughly modern, a multi-faceted jewel that gleams with a blinding, intoxicating light. If the music seems passionate, then that’s precisely because the people behind it are passionate.
“I’ve found the whole process of listening to music has become very cheapened, and very disposable,” driving force Dominic Thomas explains. “I really believe in every single note that we put down – every drum sound, everything. It’s all done with intent. I’m just totally obsessed by it all.
New album ‘Empty Words’ lives up to these claims. An endlessly creative document, it’s a record that expertly pieces together its reference points. Vastly ambitious, Whyte Horses reconvened last year to focus on ‘Empty Words’. Largely self-produced at London’s Lovebuzz Studio, it features some beautiful arrangements from Huw White, and guest vocals from La Roux and Nouvelle Vague’s Melanie Pain.
Sonically beautiful, ‘Empty Words’ matches this glorious surfaces to some dark depths, and it’s this starkly personal combination of light and shade, he insists, that drives Whyte Horses: “I call it kitchen sink fantasy,” he says. “It’s collage, it’s patchwork, it’s kaleidoscope. It’s anything you want, really.”
One recurring inspiration on this record is the work of David Lynch, in particular his startling surrealist statement Twin Peaks. “I admire that fearless attitude to creativity,” he states. “Not being afraid of putting two things together. Doing things you hadn’t seen before.”
This is an element that ring true in the band’s upcoming live shows. Each one will be special, with a revolving cast of guests such as members of The Go! Team and Badly Drawn Boy helping craft a fusion of music and visuals that recalls everything from Andy Warhol to Brazil’s tropicalia movement. “That’s kind of how Whyte Horses was initiated,” he insists. “It’s all about soundtracks and films, because when they work together it can be greater than the sum of its parts.”
Matching a sweet sense of innocence to lingering darkness, Whyte Horses are a uniquely intriguing experience, capable of cutting through the fog of the everyday. Prepare to become obsessed.