Artist Spotlight: W.H. Lung – Our Culture

Taking their name from a Chinese supermarket in their native Manchester, W.H. Lung started out as the studio-based project comprised of vocalist Joe Evans, multi-instrumentalist Tom Sharkett, and bassist Tom Derbyshire, who have played in various bands together since they met at school. Following the success of their 2019 debut Incidental Music, which fused their infectious brand of synthpop with elements of krautrock and post-punk in sprawling fashion, Derbyshire left W.H. Lung to focus on filmmaking, and the group expanded into a five-piece with Alex Mercer Main on drums, Chris Mulligan on bass and synths, and Hannah Peace on vocals and synths. Last week, the five-piece returned with their sophomore album, Vanities, which was written in isolation but reflects a period in which Evans and Sharkett immersed themselves in Manchester’s nightlife. As their appreciation for the euphoria of dance music seeped into the creative process, Evans also found inspiration in the works of Anton Chekov, Shusaku Endo, and Iris Murdoch, as well as practicing meditation and connecting with nature. The result is a fantastic and consistently satisfying album that retains the potency and dynamism of their debut but manages to channel those influences in a way that’s direct, exuberant, and just pure fun.

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