Having read up on London three-piece The Wharves, the fact that they are women was an iterative and persistent theme; we live in a world where the average person is still incapable of understanding that gender is not intrinsically linked to one’s ability to create music, yet it’s not usually common practice to reference what sits between a man’s legs because his voice sounds distinctly ‘male’. Similarly, conventional wisdom dictates that any “all-female” band with a propensity for multi-vocal harmonies is indebted to the ’60s girl groups of yore.

While The Wharves are no doubt vocally influenced by those groups – particularly on ‘Scarlet for Ya’, which is indicative of the band’s perfect pop sensibility – it’s actually structural, progressive folk that dominates this debut album, alongside myriad disparate influences – including psych and minimal rock – which makes for something quite diverse and often singular. In all, vocals are perhaps a little too prominent and startling – no doubt heightened by the gleaning production ¬– but ‘At Bay’’s most prevailing quality is within the captivating songwriting and rich compositions.


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