Whitelands is the musical project of Etienne; beginning as something to do at lunchtime in Sixth Form, before quickly becoming a lot more serious with 2018 seeing the release of both an EP, Old News, and a self-titled debut album. Etienne’s blend of shoe-gaze and indie-pop caught the ears of many, receiving radio play on both sides of the Atlantic as well as a well received set at Indietracks. Closing off a monumental year for Whitelands, Etienne is set to release a brand new single, Fluoxetine, which we’re premiering here today.
Discussing the track, Etienne has suggested it’s a reflection on a personal battle with depression, which came to a head when Etienne was, “prescribed anti-depressants in December 2017 which gave me constant nightmares and anxiety, which left me feeling almost ghost-like, unrecognisable to myself, a different person and me foolishly believing -maybe that was who I was”. More than just a personal track though, Fluoxetine, is also about the wider issue of our societies failure to talk about mental health, as Etienne explains, “mental health is rarely talked about in communities, even less so in ethnic ones. Being a teenager in London, it’s almost a journey opening up to people when you need them most, and more heartbreaking if they can’t understand you”.
If the track is lyrically a plea to talk, musically it’s a little more insular. There’s a claustrophobia and an intensity to Etienne’s production. You can almost feel the walls closing in, as you strain to hear the echo-drenched vocals and become engulfed in the walls of guitar and the thrilling bassy-pulse. While previous Whitelands material highlighted the poppier and punkier side of Etienne’s songwriting, on Fluoxetine there’s an embracing of the darker side, a thrilling new direction from a prolific and intriguing new voice on the DIY-scene.
Fluoxetine is out December 29th. Click HERE for more information on Whitelands.