Bleach Lab were born from dark times. The band’s initial run of EPs – containing startling, intelligent pop songwriting fashioned from indie aspects – was constructed across our multiple lockdowns, often pieced together from remote circumstances.
Debut album ‘Lost In A Rush Of Emptiness’ breaks with this. Recorded cheek-by-jowl in the same studio, and overseen by hugely respected producer Catherine Marks, the results truly tap into their live ferocity, while also displaying a growing maturity, confidence, and sense of control.
Out now, it’s a record that aims to find the light during dark times. In keeping with this, Clash caught up with Bleach Lab to discern their playlist of songs spinning in the bunker – while the world turns upside down.
Cigarettes After Sex – ‘Apocalypse‘
I mean… It kinda says it in the name right? But no, for real I’d easily spend my final days locked down underground with any of the Cigarettes After Sex discography. They do melancholy and nostalgia better than most bands, surely two of the most prevalent feelings during the end of the world. (Jenna)
Phoebe Bridgers – ‘I Know The End’
An epic song that is just waiting for the right apocalyptic film to be made to feature as the end title track. The gradual build just hits so hard, leading up to the outro ‘The end is here’ and the screaming… I think it encapsulates it so well. (Jenna)
Hall & Oates – ‘When The Morning Comes’
My current brain-itch song, if we were to go into full end of the world mode tomorrow I’d almost certainly have this song on repeat. It really has nothing to do with an apocalypse, I think it would just do a great job at cheering me up. (Jenna)
The Ink Spots – ‘I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire’
I love my video games in my spare time. One of my favourite series is the Fallout Games and this song is one of the main soundtracks associated with this series. If… or when there is an apocalypse, I would want to wonder around a wasteland with 1940s atom era soothing sombre, yet hopeful jams. (Josh)
Ashnikko – ‘Worms’
This is the crazy ‘mad max’ apocalypse I would expect if the world to end. The video is clearly an ode to mad max and video games with funky stop motion. The song as I understand it is about having a fresh start and I with the apocalyptic lyrics such as “world is burning, I got worms in my brain” and the imagery I feel is a reassuring way to see the apocalypse, having survivors and a fresh start. (Josh)
R.E.M. – ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’
One the first bands I ever saw live and this track couldn’t really be more fitting to doomsday. It’s a depressing topic, but I can’t help but dance to this song. And if there’s one thing we’d all need in a time like this, it’s a dance. (Kieran)
James – ‘Getting Away With It All Messed Up’
I love the sentiment that we’re all just bumbling through life, getting away with it. I used to listen to this in the car with my dad and sang it loud as a kid, and I’ve never forgotten that. But meaning behind the song seems to get more and more poignant as I get older.
I’d probably play this one first, have a quick moment of reflection, then whack on R.E.M. and end on a more positive note. (Kieran)
Billy Joel – ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire‘
All I can think when I hear this song is Dwight from the US office when Ryan starts the office fire… But for real, I think we’re all aware of the most likely explanation for the end of the world, however the seriousness of it will only really dawn for some when it actually happens…
The irony would not be lost on us in the band, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some people singing this non-ironically sadly, as they have done throughout. Let’s just hope that day never comes! (Kieran)
The Sundays – ‘Here’s Where The Story Ends’
If it’s the end of the world we are probably going to want one last listen to one of our favourite bands. This is one of our ultimate favourite songs by The Sundays and has inspired our music so much. We couldn’t pick two of of our own, so here’s the next best thing! (Full band)
Bleach Lab – ‘Nothing Left To Lose‘
We have to pick one of our own songs if we are all in the bunker together right? The playlist so far has taken us on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and I think we’d need to end on a high rather than a cry – can’t help but the majority of our songs would have us feeling the latter! But I can see us all dancing out to this one, belting out those famous last words – ‘Nothing Left to Lose’. (Full band)
Photo Credit: Chaa Ustaoglu