MCD proudly presents
Whelan’s Upstairs • Sat 2nd March 2024
unum: the Latin word for oneness, unity, a sense of being whole. The debut album of ĠENN is a hard-earned statement of evolution, woven from the band’s four distinct threads of influence and identity to reveal an arresting tapestry of ambition. It follows on from their 2021 debut EP Liminal which was born of isolation, a fragmented jigsaw puzzle put together at a distance in the pandemic era. The project triumphed against all odds, but ĠENN knew that the EP walked so that something far greater could run. unum is the product of that long-awaited togetherness; it captures that lightning in a bottle which strikes when four distinct strains of talent – four best friends – are free to create. ĠENN have never sounded so limitless.
The band is a royal flush: all different cards, but all belonging to the same suit – and of course, when you play that hand, it’s of the highest possible value. Preserving their own individuality has always been their greatest strength. Guitarist Janelle has a taste for the kaleidoscopic sounds of neo-psychedelic rock and post-punk’s intensity, while Leanne, their bassist, is driven by the desire to play her instrument in a way that is distinctly her own, walking the line between the prog-bass she loves and the sensibilities of the jazz musician she learned from. Drummer, Sofia, grew up in the world of jazz and blues but found the freedom to experiment she was looking for in a psychedelic approach, and Leona’s vocals have theatrical command which channel the Eastern vocal tones of her native Malta.
Always present in their minds and music is a sense of feeling like outsiders. With Janelle, Leanne and Leona’s Maltese roots, no matter how hard they try to assimilate into their adopted hometown of Brighton, they always felt that they remained on the margins. Sofia’s background is Jamaican, Portuguese and British, and while she was raised in Brighton, she experienced a sense of otherness through a unique lens: being part of something while still being separate from it. unum grapples with questions of selfhood, the contradictions of identity and ancestry. “It all relates to identity and the search of it,” shares Leanne.
The four of them had a vision in their head and were hellbent on executing it, losing sleep often over how to translate their ambition for a song into reality when they jammed together. Working seven days a week to make ends meet and invest resources back into the band is another fact of their reality. unum was an act of escapism from the heaviness of day-to-day life. The album’s tracks came thick and fast in the jam sessions to the point where, Janelle jokes, it felt like they were “puking music”.
Success, for ĠENN, is to navigate the storm – the frenzy for which they are named – while still finding an escape route in each other. unum is their getaway car, and now, they’re ready to start the engine.
€14.90 available online from Whelan’s – 50c per ticket service charge applies
Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the Silent Disco in the upstairs venue – Free Entry via front door until 10:30pm | Drinks Promos