Who else would you want to find on a fire escape taking a woozy summer night cig break between gig sets than Deep Tan? From the depths of East London, the trio spring back with their new EP, Creeping Speedwells. In their latest release, Deep Tan play with light and dark, air and heaviness, maladaptation and catharsis. Their songs are like elusive shards of gold; there’s only a finite amount in the world, and each one is hard-edged, surprisingly soft, and gleaming with its own preternatural light.
Their first song on the EP, ‘Do you ever ascend’ leaves you chasing gorgeous guitar licks in the dark. The brooding bass has a power behind it that feels haunting. It slowly builds like an ascension of sounds clumping together, then disperses like specks of dust on a gust of wind. Lead singer Wafah’s voice floats over it, singing “Do you ascend, do you ever ascend” with an airy sarcasm that pays homage to Deep Tan’s favourite Instagram meme page @doyoueverjustfuckingascend.
‘Hollow Scene’ is a brooding warning of the dangers of losing yourself whilst trying to conserve your energy. The lyrics are rich with twisting rhymes. “I follow and I fantasize, I swallow, swallow all the lies And it’s hollow, hollow in my eyes” with her hollow voice that mimics disinterest and feels like you are falling into a compassionless, alluring void. Lucy’s drumbeats ensure the rhythm section flows and simmers at just the right pace. Deep Tan subdue us into their hollow scene with their radio-pulsar beeps and twinkly hooks that form like a lunar lullaby.
When was the last time you had a crazy night of energy-destroying debauchery? Too long ago. But we can at least live vicariously through Deep Tan’s ‘Camelot’, enter their castle with walls lined high with gold tinnies, and watch them sacrifice themselves to the night’s volatility in this love letter to mad benders. Celeste’s bass swells with a fuzzy tension that erupts into a sense of pure hedonism that only really comes from ignoring everything. Wafah’s airy voice carries us with an airy and playful energy that signifies only one thing: total catharsis.
The last song on the EP, ‘Deepfake’ feels like a simulation, a surreal out-of-body experience of a very terrifying and increasingly real situation. Wafah chants, “my body is not mine anymore” as the track depicts how it feels to have your body taken away from you and degraded. In the internet world, consent is twisted by the corrupted loopholes of its undefined depths, images are stolen without consent and Deep Tan are fighting back against it. Wafah’s voice sounds monotonous and cyborgian as she repeats phrases in French and English that flow like waves of hypnosis over the body. The speaker confesses “They make me do these things” as the tense, menacing guitar riffs swell and twang like spidery jerks of a body that you can no longer control.