In the mid to late noughties, a plethora of indie bands were born . Many of us revelled in a few golden summers where guitar music had a home and Britain churned out a flurry of talented indie outfits. Fast-forward seven or eight years and, musically, we’re pretty entrenched in world of sub-genres at the moment, all jostling for position. Such a confounding state of affairs has sometimes begged for an escape into something more instantaneously accessible, poppy, even somewhat dreamy. Childhood are certainly working to fit that bill. The young four-piece are making waves in London with their melodic, shoegaze influenced vibe with a novel twist.
Whilst at University in Nottingham, guitarists Ben Romans Hopcraft and Leo Dobson connected over a mutual interest in Atlanta band Deerhunter, and you could liken their aural qualities to that of Lockett Pundt’s band, as well as his solo alias Lotus Plaza. Disgruntled with what Notts was offering them in a musical sense, choosing to embark on a trip back to their native London seemed a necessity. Cue my personal heartbreak, as I know my Midlands home of three years is doing all in its power to champion a music scene it so rightfully deserves. But alas, Childhood’s return to the capital was a success, resulting in the release of debut single Blue Velvet, which quickly won them plaudits from music reviewers across the nation.
Their debut is swallowed in church-like reverb, boasting a summer-haze ambience, not dissimilar from Wild Nothing or Swim Deep, for example. They’ve got the knack of writing a memorable guitar line, with a quasi-psych feel. The chorus is emotive, redolent, and implores a need to sing along.
Their second release, Solemn Skies shares the shoegaze hallmarks, reminiscent in many ways to early 90s releases. The guitar willingly follows Roman Hopcraft’s vocals among a backdrop of echo-drenched, droning sound. The video also offers a stunning range of mac raincoats and floral shirt/short combinations. Enjoy.
Besides that, Childhood (deemed ‘ungoogleable’ by Pitchfork) have retained a sense of elusiveness on the web . Patiently waiting on their releases (where other young bands may have already spilled a wealth of material) has helped to deliver a snowballing sense of eager anticipation for further releases. In other words, it is the calibre of their performances that are helping to establish a keen following in the UK, particularly at their home in London. This could probably be seen as a wise choice – after all, it’s worked for the Arctic Monkeys and, more recently, British indie rockers Palma Violets, with whom they played the support act for their tour.
Ultimately, their stock is destined to rise, with Secret Garden Party under their belt, as well as Beacons Festival and Reading and Leeds arriving imminently. Whether the quartet’s chamber-echo-jangle-pop can differentiate itself from the rest of the pack remains to be seen. Their laid back, dreamy affair needs to retain a sense of intelligible reverb to ensure vocal clarity. However, the young group have an impressionable quality that should see them emerge further in the British guitar music scene. We’d say your best bet is to catch them at a venue near you, to see what all the fuss is about.