Release Date: November 25th, 2022
Location: Angers, France
France’s GONDHAWA have a level of groove woven into the fabric of their music that is seldom achieved, an accomplishment on full display with their latest offering Mäanthagorī. The band find a unique balance between psychedelic and space rock that ties in unusual elements of folk rock, creating a sound that almost feels otherworldly at times, a quality that matches their stunning album art.
The EP only features two tracks Go!Go! Sinay and Toko Mieko, with a total run time of less than ten minutes. Despite its short run time the EP leaves a lasting impact on the listener. I for one have come back to these two tracks time and time again, trying to unpack everything that the trio have crammed into these songs. The two tracks also couldn’t be more different, one is a fast paced, groove laden romp through the lands of fuzz, while the other is a spacey, psych laden atmospheric piece with a more underlying groove.
Go!Go! Sinay opens the album with a burst of energy, giving us monstrously large riffs, thick heavy bass and an unreasonably chorus. I have no idea what the chorus means as I can’t find lyrics or a translation, but I find myself singing it throughout my week. The use of spacey, psychedelic surf rock riffs and echoed effect laden vocals in parts adds an excellent dramatic flair to a song that already packs a powerful punch. This is definitely the faster, punchier of the two tracks, coming at the listener with an almost unrelenting energy, but not in an aggressive way, in more of an excited, ADHD way.
Toko Mieko has Latin American influences and rhythms woven into its very DNA, giving the song a unique take on space/psych rock from start to finish. For the most part the track takes on a slow to mid-tempo pace, really focusing on building a spacey atmosphere that draws the listener in. Towards the end of the track though the song really opens up, giving us rapid lyrical repetition and a burst of psychedelic noise. The track’s chorus is also one of its clear drawcards, being catchy and memorable and easy to sing along to.
Overall, the EP is a must listen for all fans of psychedelic music, it won’t even take you that long either, just less than ten minutes of your day. I guarantee you that whether you enjoy the music or not, parts of it will worm their way into your brain, it’s just too catchy not too. So, play this one loud, play it often and keep an eye on this band, I see big things in their future.
Listen to and order the album: