Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Thursday 18 November 2021

Spent Seventeen Pounds On Mushrooms For You

I've been a bit late on the uptake with this group and their name suggests we're running out of band names but there's no doubting what they do- Dry Cleaning formed after a karaoke party and six months later discovered a vocalist, Florence Shaw (who holds down day jobs as a visual artist, lecturer and picture researcher). Florence's vocals are spoken word, a bit indifferent to you and your life, eyebrows raised perhaps, casually narrating her subconscious ('love, anger, revenge, anxiety, the kitchen...'). Meanwhile the three musicians (Tom, Nick and Lewis) scratch, scape and bash away at guitar, bass and drums. Guitar riffs, post- punk basslines and dry drums, a bit of 80s jangle, some dubby sounds. It sounds like the music's come from jam sessions (in a good way) and they've honed in on the good points while Florence sits with sheets of paper waiting for her cue- 'a woman in aviators firing a bazooka' as she says in Scratchcard Lanyard. They're on 4AD who let's face it, usually know what they're doing.

Strong Feelings rides on a rumbling bass and hissing hi- hat and then a shaker. The guitar comes in, single notes, as Florence says 'I just want to tell you I have scabs on my head'. The Joy Division guitar riff builds up. Later on, after lines about Dutch landscape, an emo dead stuff collector and the repeated 'It's Europe', she drops in 'It seems like a lot of garlic/ Lonely beyond lovely/ You just want to be liked/ I like you/ Stay'. I'm not sure what it's all about but I really enjoy listening to it.  

Bug Eggs was recorded in summer 2020 and released summer 2021 after being available only as a bonus track. 'I was a toasted teenage peanut' Florence says and I think we all know how she feels.


Jake Sniper said...

My middle child Max, put me on to them recently, they played me Scratchcard Lanyard. I really enjoyed it.

Walter said...

A new band I discovered early this year and I still playing it regular at my place. Great stuff.