Review

WokRing crafts left-field electro-pop with bourgeois flair in their latest album, BLOSS

Best friends and bandmates Nathan Nandler-Nir and James Lankaster prove that Covid restrictions and 10 000km distance between Cape Town and London has nothing on making good collaborative music.

They’ve actually always made their music remotely, and it’s testimony to a good working relationship that you can make things work like that. After SoundCloud built them a steady street-level following, they called it official and started releasing tracks to the wider world a couple of years ago.

BLOSS is their second full-length offering and centers on the idea of an emotional “glow-up” – which feels pretty apt given the state of the world. We could all do with one of those. Between thumping bars they unpack the grit of racist family members, platonic intimacy, and heartbreak with a touch of breezy frivolity.

Their electro-experimentalism pivots off EDM-infused pop inflections and heady bass meets ambient electronicism.

Alien autotuned vocals keep things a little weird in “Wake Up” and “Juniper Buried”. “Sleep Tight” pairs a boom-ka beat with dreamy melody for a lazy afternoon – while “Swoon” (which also comes along with a drum-and-bass counterpart later on) pairs piano ambience with whiffs of catchy pop-melody.

It’s cheeky and textured, a little unsteady on the lyricism, but packs an engineered punch which leaves very little lacking in the end.