When we hailed South-London’s Bleach Lab back in 2021 as potent newcomers of the scene, it seems we weren’t wrong altogether, as the group has since then evolved their lush and encompassing sonic vigour into complex and highly intuitive pieces of music. Freshly released and the newest item in their impressive EP catalogue is the five-track-strong If You Only Feel It Once, their third one, ever since turning heads about two years ago. Continuing their passion for ethereal dream-pop, the four-piece dissects the sentiment of nostalgia and the quest for a place that feels like home, as the spacious title-track vividly showcases:

“And you’ve been spending all your time / Finding somewhere that feels like home / And you wonder why you can’t / Shake the fear of being alone / And the storm, it guides you back into the dark / And if you only feel it once / Is it enough?”

There is a lot of existentialist questions the band sets out to voice, and in these songs it is a particular sentiment of feeling lost in the world and finding your purpose, all set against the backdrop of a wallowing orchestra of sound, tumbling down on the “fragile lives and fragile minds” (as the title track puts it) to fumble through the maze of doubt and angst towards encouraging redemption. Or as frontwoman Jenna Kyle puts it:

“The lyrics cover a lot of themes of finding a home, feeling safe, finding your way in life and feeling like you’re running out of or wasting your time on the wrong things or people. It’s an inner dialogue with yourself, and in my opinion ‘it’ is subjective and could mean a number of things depending on the listener. However, to me, ‘it’ is referring to ‘home’, that is, if you only feel home once. It is quite a low mood track and there are quite obvious themes of depressive thoughts and some quite dark lyrics, however it’s self reflective and is meant to be somewhat encouraging.”

Bleach Lab are on a safe path toward even wider recognition, as it is ravishing songs like the ones on If You Only Feel It Once that mark their huge potential for a proper LP release anytime soon. For it is the essential views on the hardships of life in today’s age and their way of merging 90’s-influenced pop aesthetic with a modern sentimentality that makes these four an act you’d better not miss out on.

“There’s a lot of themes of finding your feet as an adult, which relates to the journey that I’ve been on since I’ve left home. Also of finding your way in life, navigating relationships and friendships and as you grow, realising which ones weren’t for you and which ones you are better off without.”

Every Monday the treasure hunt squad from the NBHAP staff is bringing an exciting new artist to your attention along with a 30-track-strong Introducing Playlist over on Spotify as we add a collection of songs by other fresh acts on top of it. Feel invited to follow the playlist and give these talents a good spin.

This week’s picks include brand new music from artists like Bleach Lab, Paul Thomas Saunders, Sorcha Richardson and more. Come and hit the play button.