From the dizzying heights of ‘Heaven’ to the crushing lows of ‘Fall Apart’, the stage for Pumarosa’s second album – ‘Devastation’ – is set. It’s a record that explores transformation on a cellular level, with the sort of strident optimism and sonic experimentation that can perhaps only come after total annihilation. First came the chaos: on the week the band’s debut album, ‘The Witch’, was released, Isabel Muñoz-Newsome was diagnosed with cervical cancer, with the resulting surgery and recovery completely changing her relationship to her body (and how to write about it). Inner-band relationships also evolved following the departure of bassist Henry, which further energised Pumarosa to explore new spaces in their already-expansive sound. The band took the work to producer John Congleton in LA, whose production on the likes of St Vincent and Swans helped convince them he could bring these songs and life-changing experiences into existence.
What’s emerged is a powerfully uplifting album, confirming Pumarosa as one of the UK’s most inventive and fearless bands. Working through questions of mortality, sexuality and strength, ‘Devastation’ is an exhilarating and suitably-unpredictable affirmation of life.