It’s been a while in coming, but it’s time: world, meet Deptford Goth. It’s quite possible you’ve already met him, since we posted the video for his stunning “Life After Defo”, but let this be a more formal introduction. We might as well roll out the red carpet for it too, because he’s hotly tipped for a lot of success (we don’t call them Ones To Watch for nothing, you know?).
Whatever success comes to this 28-year-old blue-eyed former teacher’s assistant (he only recently quit his day job) will be more than deserved, because, try as I might, I can’t find a single bad song (or remix) to his name. Granted, there’s not much original material out there – just the Youth II EP he put out last year on Merok, as well as “Life After Defo” and a demo for a song called “People Get Still” – but it’s still remarkable that everything has been absolutely top-notch. He also backs up his originals with a few more-than-noteworthy remixes.
The inattentive listener might draw a quick comparison with James Blake for obvious reasons: both pair their sonic textures – a mix of synthetic and real instrumentation – with a deep, soulful, layered vocal that frequently uses some kind of modulation. The differences, however, come upon further inspection. Whereas Blake prefers to keep his music mostly minimal, Deptford Goth, or Daniel Woolhouse rather, is more likely to pack a heavier sonic punch, stuffing his music with multiple layers, but always carefully so as for it to not get overbearing.
Woolhouse also spoke of his love for pop music with The Fader, admitting that while he’s not a fan of the “sugary… really cheap, get-it-out-the-door pop” he does find that artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé or The-Dream are doing interesting things with the genre. In his own songs, Woolhouse doesn’t shy away from his pop influence, layering up his songs to big builds in the end, and filling them with plenty of hooks, both in instrumental and in vocal form. Sometimes he goes even further, such as a direct nod in the form of a vocal hook to Mariah Carey‘s “Fantasy” at the end of “Real Love Fantasy”, possibly the best song on Youth II.
All the promise Deptford Goth showed on his debut EP is being more than realized with his latest offerings. “Life After Defo”, the title track from his first full-length album, which is expected early next year is possibly his best song to date. It’s slightly more skeletal than his previous material, but the pounding drums and atmospheric synths create a near perfect soundscape. As far as comparisons go, it’s definitely a few steps closer to Woodkid than James Blake, but that’s not even close to a bad thing. The demo for “People Get Still” also hints at just what might be to come from the producer, with one of his catchiest numbers yet.
Not content with having incredibly solid original material, Woolhouse’s remixing abilities prove to be top notch as well. Case in point: his remix of Purity Ring‘s “Ungirthed”. He flips the song inside out, deciding to discard the song’s original synth line and stretch it out, but not once does it feel lacking or boring.
Below you can (and should) listen to “People Get Still” and “Real Love Fantasy”, as well as watch the video for “Life After Defo“. Youth II is out now on Merok, and his debut album is expected early next year. You can expect us to keep you posted on that.