Daniel Woolhouse describes his music as “sitting somewhere between real and synthetic”, but the emotional impact of his musical alias Deptford Goth is about as human as it gets. Imbued with an intimate, intense yearning, perfectly matched to a seamlessly woven landscape of synths, beats and dreamy, sad vocals - his debut album ‘Life After Defo’ confirms the arrival of an astonishing new talent.
The promise was there in Woolhouse’s debut EP ‘Youth II’ followed by the single ‘Life After Defo’ in 2012. The album works as an entire piece, drawing the listener in and seducing with its tender and aching melancholy, but delivering an equally potent sense of euphoria, particularly on album highlights such as ‘Feel Real’ and ‘Union’.
He has been compared to James Blake in that electronically tweaked zone where synth-pop, R&B and soul meet; lovers of The xx may also recognise a kindred spirit. The vital pit-stops along the way to ‘Life After Defo’ include records such as Neil Young’s ‘After The Goldrush’, the emotional reach of Sparklehorse’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and Granddaddy’s ‘The Sophtware Slump’ albums.
It’s in the company of these radically beautiful incarnations that Deptford Goth also belongs, all of which can do radical things to your insides. It can go different ways. As Woolhouse explains, the album cover is of two hands raised up toward the sky: “it’s got a powerful duality,” he says, “because the gesture could be surrender or a prayer.” That’s ‘Life After Defo.’