Starting off as a studio only three-piece shrouded in mystery, Manchester’s W. H. Lung have evolved across two full lengths into one of the UK’s most exciting live acts & a forward-thinking synth-pop powerhouse.
In 2017, the excitement around the band’s upcoming debut single Inspiration! was feverish enough that they were booked to play legendary indie festivals Green Man & End Of The Road without having ever played a show or released any music. The eventual release of neo-motorik anthem Inspiration! on Manchester label Melodic & their debut gig at the Anthony Burgess Centre in Manchester confirmed there was justification for the hype. The summer of 2017 saw the band play festivals across the UK to big crowds, and the release of their second single WANT in December of that year saw the hype grow only faster.
The band however were determined not to let the anticipation that was building around their debut album get to them, instead allowing the sprawling, krautrock infused tracks of eventual debut album Incidental Music to naturally gestate across the next year & half, before the album’s release to acclaim in April 2019. The band once again teamed up with indie label Melodic to release the record, and saw rave reviews from The Guardian, The Times, Q, Mojo, Loud & Quiet and many other corners of the British & European press world. The record also found love in record stores across the country, with iconic indie shops Piccadilly Records & Resident both naming Incidental Music their #1 album of the year in 2019.
The release of Incidental Music saw the band head out on a first UK headline tour along with forays across the pond for renowned international festivals Les Inrockuptibles Fest, Reeperbahn, London Calling & Iceland Airwaves. A euphoric hometown show at Band On The Wall supported by fellow Melodic alumni Working Men’s Club followed in June, and a new single Symmetry was released in October with all profits going to local charities Mustard Tree & Booth Centre.
The band emerged from a break a member lighter & three heavier, with Tom Derbyshire leaving the band to pursue a film career & Leeds-based trio Hannah Peace, Alex Main & Chris Mulligan joining the band full time. They began work on their second album ‘Vanities’ which was released on Melodic in October 2021.
From the opening moments of lead single, the Donna Summer-esque synths instantly highlight the new sound the band had taken on. Across the two years between Incidental Music & Vanities, songwriters Tom Sharkett & Joseph Evans delved into an electronic music hole, experimenting with synthesizers & falling in love with pop music. The resulting record shows this plainly, with italo-tinged synth lines & drum samples layering atop the motorik grooves they retained from their debut.
The maturity & energy of Vanities garnered the band further critical praise, not just in the UK but now in the USA, with Stereogum naming the band as ‘One To Watch’, and Under The Radar including Vanities in their albums of 2021 list, alongside coverage in Brooklyn Vegan, Paste & Talkhouse. The extension of the band’s hype across the Atlantic led to an invitation to South By Southwest festival 2022 that was gladly accepted. The band’s electric live shows reached new heights across the 7 shows they played in their week there, with shows for Paste & the British Music Embassy reaching hysteria.
Back home the live side continued to grow with their biggest headline show to date at London’s Scala coming in November 2021, which was given a 5* rave review in The Times, and a full UK tour including a hometown headline at Gorilla. They embarked on a debut EU headline run in May 2022 reaching all around Europe to fans they’d made across both records, and appeared at EU festivals Pinkpop, Dauwpop & Sinner’s Day. In May they were invited to play the legendary William’s Green stage at Glastonbury, to go with raucous sets at Bluedot & Beat-Herder.
The band play Village Underground, London in November 2022 alongside a host of other UK dates.