Childcare are in for cult adoration thanks to Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi ChildcareIf you've ever sat at home, binge watching crime documentaries on Netflix and wondering if it's healthy to spend so much time in the company of psychopaths, know that you're not alone. South London band Childcare have a thing about cults, and the obsession has infiltrated their debut Wabi Sabi.

The album is based on the Get Well Soon organisation, best documented on the band's sparkly new website but also presented through the video for latest single "Sugarcane" and some strong social media marketing skills. The scene is further set by grey tracksuits as uniforms, vapid eyes and smiles, and above all the putrid stench of a wellbeing class gone bad.

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Coincidentally the approach is similar to fellow DW Ones to Watch artist Nilüfer Yanya, whose own debut album Miss Universe was released earlier this year; on it Yanya uses a beauty spa narrative to carve out themes of paranoia and self deprivation. Unlike the singer songwriter's fairly weak effort, Childcare have created the perfect storm for a concept album and Wabi Sabi is a memorable success. The band have a dry sense of humour that throws a shadow of doubt over the whole concept - at least, we hope it's a concept. It's consistently applied right down to the replies they send out on Twitter. Their songs are littered with social references again delivered with a dark, British humour that implies it's all just a joke, but is it really? On stage front man Ed Cares especially is the sort of musician to invoke nervous laughter from his crowd as often as a proper belly laugh.

As for the music on Wabi Sabi, in this case Childcare play it safe by building 75% of the playlist from known fan favourites. "Omega Grey" and "Getting Over You" get a Wabi Sabi-edit but in other cases such as "Man Down (King Kong Shake)" it doesn't sound as though the tracks have been re-recorded. To be fair, they didn't need to be; Childcare have long held reign over the title 'next big indie rock act who are actually a bit alright'. Two tracks imply the band are growing in a new direction they've yet to fully explore; "Sugarcane" settles into a familiar pattern with added texture, and "Champagne Brain" is an onslaught of noise rock minus the screaming. Emma Topolski's technically brilliant vocal holds it together but you have to get into gear to appreciate the track, and as a result it's slightly jarring for the first few listens.

We can't say Wabi Sabi is the start of something big for Childcare because it's been such a long time coming; they have several years of touring and a strong fan base already under their belt. However this debut is crucial listening for 2019 and a succinct explanation of why Childcare are the best British band around at the moment. As they put it, they're well on the way to personal glory. May there be many spinning days to come.

Release: 31st May 2019, Eone Music

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