Whitelands: Setting Sun

Setting Sun, the second single from Whitelands since signing with Sonic Cathedral, marks a change in the band's outlook from last year's mesmerizing Born In Understanding to a sound which seems much heavier, both on the musical and lyrical fronts.

It’s another song of sadness from the Black diaspora,” comments singer and guitarist Etienne. “It is an unfortunate thing to write about, but as it keeps happening then songs will continue to get written.

Whitelands have honed their craft to the point where they have occupied a comfortable spot among the most notable and promising new acts in the current shoegaze scene, drawing inspiration for their sound and creative direction from DIIV and Wild Nothing.

The starting point for new single, Setting Sun, was the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and everything that followed. “It was one of the most difficult years we had faced being Black,” says Etienne. “Everyone had a think-piece. It brought out a lot in people that we never thought was in them and we lost a few friends because of it.

It’s frustrating being the target of racism and also having ‘allies’ somehow coming up with more racist shit, then throw up a fist right after.

The title is a reference to Sundown towns, which are exclusive white neighborhoods in the United States which use intimidation, violence, and bigoted local laws against non-white residents. 

Etienne continues: “There are lots of places that may not be openly hostile to you, but a Confederacy flag is enough to let you know how welcome you are there. Seeing the England flag gives us the same vibes. The UK has a history of oppression and racism, and those values are enforced and embedded. Patriotism has that connotation. People like to incriminate themselves - just let them talk, stay quiet, poke and prod, and stuff just comes out.

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