“I wanna stay in all day, I wanna sleep in all day, all day”, repeated twice over a slow drum beat and consistent bass, opens the track. The bass continues as the strings of a guitar are playfully plucked until the instrument makes its debut with the same rhythm sung through the lyrics. This all combines until the lyrics are chanted by an array of voices to convey the significance of the message.

Categorised as Post-Punk, this broad genre of rock music emerged in the late 1970s as musicians transitioned from the raw simplicity of traditionalist punk rock, opting for a variety of non-rock influences. The genre is popularly classified by such artists as Joy Division, The Cure, and Talking Heads… Big boots to fill, but with their Anglo-Maltese heritage, and Jamaican and Portuguese roots, they bring their own unique sound to the genre.

ĠENN translates to ‘Craziness’ in Maltese, and that is exactly what their sound is. Made up of Janelle Borg (guitars), Sofia Rosa Cooper (drums), Leona Farrugia (Vocals), and Leanne Zammit (bass). 

With the band’s mixed heritage, they’ve always had a collection of influences running through their veins and ‘Rohmeresse’ sets a scene for ĠENN’s ability to weave comfortably through an ever-changing musical landscape.

The hi-hat is hit softly as the electric guitar enchantingly writhes around the track, creeping around the very depths with the harmonious vocals accompanying it through every nook and cranny, all until the belting drums make their return. This gives the same similarly ominous impression that the riffs notably used by Tinariwen install within us.

Leona and Janelle have been friends since the age of three, and first began songwriting in their early teens when they set a poem to music as part of an English Literature assignment. Janelle soon began learning guitar, whilst Leona took lessons in classical singing and immersed herself in the catalogues of an eclectic mix of artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf and John Coltrane.

Janelle then met Leanne at college who brought with her a fresh musical perspective and a brand new set of influences, ranging from Gorillaz to Megadeth and Gojira. After the 3 of them moved to Brighton, they met Sofia online – a drummer since the tender age of 11, taught by her late father. Sofia brought with her a vast amount of skill and experience, alongside a diverse set of influences including Cindy Blackman, Pat Metheny, Stevie Wonder and Dennis Chambers.

With potent lyrics including, “Me and my body have a close relationship, yet I feel nothing like myself.” commenting on the dissociative nature of the modern day. This feeling of dissatisfaction manifests into activities intended to distract, as they continue, “I indulge myself in peeled potatoes”. These previously mundane activities such as cooking and cleaning, become somewhat significant. Perhaps a sinister reminder of time slipping away unbeknownst to us.

On the song, vocalist Leona Farrugia said, “I’ve often felt a pressure running through everyday life: a pressure to be productive whilst being true to oneself. Modern life can be very dissociative and small tasks become a real burden to uphold. I wanted to capture these thoughts through the track, whereby these emotions gradually build to a point of ecstasy.”

The track’s title, ‘Rohmeresse’, nods to French new wave director Éric Rohmer, whose characters often struggle through the morals and desires of quotidian life, and both the repetition this created, and his feelings of hopelessness attached to this. 

The song crescendos into a frenzy of instrumental conversations as Leona shouts over them all, wanting to be heard. The accompanying music video shows the scene of a half-forgotten lamp as the camera slowly zooms in, and the bulb begins to flicker uncontrollably, accentuating the tracks intensity, until the drums cut and the screen turns black.

They shared their debut EP Liminal last year – six contrasting tracks filled with allusive meditations cocooned in psychedelic textures. Describing their creative dynamic as a ‘sisterhood’, ĠENN have an unconditional bond felt through their harmonious sound. 

From the end of October through to the end of November, the sisterhood are on the move, as ĠENN have been announced to support the infamous Pussy Riot on their UK tour from the end of the month, until their own headline dates in Bristol, London, and Brighton. 

You may also like...