Bristol’s emerging sensations DAMEFRISØR reject the sophomore slump with their larger-than-life single, ‘2-HEH-V’. Having confidently added to the modern British shoegaze canon with their debut single, ‘Do You Think I’m Special’, the 5-piece are now proving their forward-thinking songwriting on their latest release.
While there are a lot of criteria you can judge a song by, when it comes to shoegaze there are really just two: how big a song is, and how expressive it is. On ‘2-HEH-V’, a stylised way of saying ‘too heavy’, DAMEFRISØR manage to meet both. With the help of producer Will Carkeet (Pet Shimmers, Robbie & Mona), Doctor Who-like synths, and guitars that don’t shy away from the vacuum-adjacent sounds of their genre, the Bristol quintet create a deeply inviting soundscape that surrounds and swallows eagerly. Coming in with a myriad of highly processed vocal samples and arpeggiated synths, the band move from subtlety to grandiosity with a necessary elegance. Even when full-throttle on the drive, they are never too much, just perfectly managing to reach the heights needed.
Spurred on by the countless meaningless conversations that are found on every night out, singer Kazhi Jahfar manages to somehow turn tired apathy into a biting conviction. Repeating “are you over it yet? Cuz I am” with a low-lying hatred, Jahfar’s impassioned performance serves as a beautiful juxtaposition against the robotic vocal samples that flutter through the track. As they repeat words of affirmation with a manufactured presence fit for hedonistic dancefloors, Jahfar’s organic vocals instead brings us down to the smoking areas of clubs nationwide. In that manner, ‘2-HEH-V’ is emblematic of what DAMEFRISØR are at their essence: grand yet relatable, progressive yet familiar.
Words: Varun Govil // Photo: Amia Watling
‘2-HEH-V’ is out now on Permanent Creeps Records. Pre-order the vinyl now.