Whitelands are London band who self-describe as “bedroom dreampop and shoegaze by Black dudes.” The group was formed by Etienne and Jagun in 2017, with Vanessa (who also plays in Big Joanie) joining in 2019 and Michael rounding out the lineup in 2021.

“A few years back a review site called our music ‘soul-gaze’, it was a cool term for us, and the writer talked about how much we reminded him of The Veldt,” bandleader Etienne said in a press release. “Discovering those bands was such a trip to me. I assumed there wouldn’t be that many Black bands as, even now, it is a predominantly white genre, but having someone like Rudy Tambala [ of AR Kane] just on the other side of London from us feels so bizarre in a good way.” Ride and Slowdive are also obvious sonic touchstones for what Whitelands do, alongside The Veldt and AR Kane.

Following a series of self-released singles and EPs, Whitelands have signed with Sonic Cathedral (Ride's Andy Bell, Pye Corner Audio), and just released their gorgeous, shimmering debut single.for the label, "Born in Understanding," that was mastered by Slowdive's Simon Scott. Says Etienne, "The song is one of longing and acceptance at the same time,” adding, “It’s a weird song for me because it’s kind of one that wrote itself."

You can watch the video, directed by Manuel Suarez, below.

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