Review / healthyliving – until/below

The sound of 90’s alternative music casts a long shadow over the contemporary music scene. In the world of pop various artists are drawing influences from acts like Mazzy Star, and in the heavier sphere you have bands like Deafheaven turning to the shoegaze and dream pop of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.

healthyliving are one such band taking cues from the more ethereal end of 90’s alternative and injecting them some serious heaviness. The transnational band (with members in Scotland and Germany) came together as project when Scott Mclean (of post-black metallers Falloch) and Amaya López-C (of Maud The Moth) decided to branch out of their respective mediums to create something powerful yet stripped back. Recruiting drummer Stefan Potzsch they set about writing and recording their debut single until/below.

Noticeable more sparse and heavier than contemporaries such as Slow Crush, the two tracks on this single really lay out healthyliving’s manifesto. Until feels like a mash up of Sleep and, 90’s shoegaze darlings, Ride with Mclean utilising slow, slightly jarring riffs over Potzsch’s propulsive drumming to create a sense of hazey unease. Lopez-C’s vocals echo behind the music giving them a strained, tragic quality that works brilliantly with dischord going on around her. Below leans more into the melodic, ethereal side of their sound. A chiming, clean guitar line drives the song as it slowly grows in menace and heaviness, all the while maintaining a dreamlike atmosphere.

With so many bands ploughing the heavy shoegaze furrow at present it can be difficult for any of them to stand out. healthyliving however manage to avoid this pitfall by peppering their sound with doomier, darker tones that gives their atmospheric heavy rock a more sinister vibe. We look forward to hearing what they do next.

until/below is out now and can be ordered here.

Words: Dan Cadwallader

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