It’s finally here, the debut album from soft-core psych London based outfit Childcare ‘Wabi-Sabi’ has landed but was it worth the wait?

I have been championing these guys for a while now, catching them at festivals, they even landed the number 2 spot on my Top 50 tracks of 2018 list with their track ‘Big Man’ so I was super excited to find out their album was finally on it’s way.

Wabi-sabiIn traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”

As is evident from the name of the project and the meaning of which it holds this album sports a very zen, positive well-being promoting attitude, something that has been pulled off exceptionally well in not just the promotion of the album but in the grand scheme of the project as a whole. The opening number ‘Inhale’ comes in at just short of 30 seconds and offers a cinematic build of anticipation that despite being very light in its tone feels very monumental and really sets the scene. This paired with the later ‘Exhale’ another interlude style cut featuring some soft-spoken word work exceptionally well in keeping the theme of the album flowing throughout.

‘Lay My Body Down Try To Sleep’ strikes as the opening line of first full-length track ‘Omega Grey’, one that establishes the pace for the whole album with it’s lightly flowing sleek fresh psych tones and frontman Ed’s effortlessly natural vocal delivery. That’s something I’ve always found so intriguing about their live performances, you never feel like they are trying too hard, everything they give seems as if it comes so naturally and I’m so thrilled that comes through on the album.

The topic of male mental health and toxic masculinity is tackled lightheartedly in ‘Man Down’, starring beats from a metronomic drum machine in place of typical live style works perfectly in forming an extremely warm tone infused with dynamic enhancing female vocals courtesy of bassist Emma.

Emma makes multiple vocal appearances scattered throughout the album, taking the lead on dreamy ‘Bamboo’ and pace-setting interlude ‘It’s terribly overdone’. I am an absolute sucker for male/female vocal dynamics and this album is drenched in them, really well-crafted blends.

As I mentioned at the start of this post ‘Big Man ‘ featured as my second favourite track in my year-end list in 2018 and is one that I have just keep coming back to. A mellow number than hones in on current political turmoil and the divides created as a result. One of the darker almost mysterious cuts here, definitely still a front runner for my favourite from the project,

Acoustic guitars crop up on a few occasions here, pulling the energetic psych laden ‘Magazines’ to an organic close and on ‘My Psychotherapist’ offering a minimalist instrumentation paired with quiet humming, pulling in that meditation and free spirit element.

Pulling the album to a close we have ‘Cooking in each other’s juices’ a feel good, beachy summer number that builds to this wonderful sing-along climax with the repetition of the line ‘It’s nice to fall in love’. I tend to say this with a lot of albums but this one does feel like a journey, it is structured perfectly with its interludes and the pace works flawlessly.

Overall such a smooth easy listening project that fuses indie, psych, pop and a multitude of other styles intricately crafted to deliver a stunning masterpiece. I love the theme, it was so well thought out with the well being and self-care vibe yet it never felt gimmicky.

If you have yet to check these guys out I highly recommend you do, this album has fully exceed all my expectations. You can find it in all the usual places as well as their online store if you fancy picking up a physical copy, I’ve got my eye on that lavender scented vinyl:

Release date -31st May, 2019 eOne Music UK

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