Radar Band Of The Week – No. 125: Deptford Goth

Daniel Woolhouse is a fragile soul. This is a trait that’s overwhelmingly evident within minutes of meeting him – from his considered, hesitant speech patterns, to the obvious sadness behind his eyes, to the tender, intimate music we’re discussing today, which is made under the equally heavy-sounding guise of Deptford Goth.

Having initially started writing music at the tail end of 2010 with no immediate plan other than for it to be “something for myself”, the humanity behind the 28-year-old’s R&B-flecked, minimal electro immediately began to resonate with the wider world. Merok Records (Milo ‘Big Pink’ Cordell’s label, currently home to the likes of Majical Cloudz and Mozart’s Sister) got in touch after hearing just one song. An EP followed, 2011’s ‘Youth II’. And this month yields a full-length album, ‘Life After Defo’ – a record that bares its soul so brazenly it’s
almost too intense. Almost.

“I found it really difficult,” smiles Woolhouse quietly. “Not the writing and recording, but as soon as you’re in a room with someone else listening to it you realise there are other people involved and that it can’t just be confined within these walls.”

For a man who clearly spends a fair amount of time within the confines of his own emotional walls, however, ‘Life After Defo’ is a startlingly honest listen. In conversation, questions about any personal difficulties Woolhouse might have are greeted with an extended pause and a softly spoken “yes”. Yet on record Deptford Goth is consistently, cathartically open.

“I find it easier to explain stuff in that way,” he says. “If you’re talking to someone it’s quite easy to censor yourself, but when you’re writing a song you have a bit of time to… not build up the courage, but have a bit of conviction and try and express things in the right way instead of saying something terrible.”

As for his future plans for Deptford Goth, Woolhouse remains characteristically aloof. “I think I’ll probably try and make another record. I think I’ve maybe got one more in me,” he muses with a gentle laugh. “You can never be sure about anything; I’m not gonna set my heart on anything. But then I never thought I’d be in the position of even having made this record. That’s pretty cool…”

Based: South London
For Fans Of: James Blake, The xx
Buy It Now: ‘Life After Defo’ is released on March 18 – until then, check out the title track on iTunes
Believe It Or Not: While recording ‘Youth II’ at night, Daniel spent his days working as a teaching assistant for five-to six-year-olds. “It wasn’t… sustainable,” he deadpans