The perfect taste of life after lockdown
Charlie Brock
15:55 31st March 2021

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Dry Cleaning, one of London’s best new bands, emerge from lockdown with a fabulous debut record New Long Leg. Opener 'Scratchcard Lanyard' sets the scene for this record from minute one. Dry Cleaning have really nailed the delicate balance of music v.s lyrics: the band themselves are really well put together, playing dancey, groovy indie pop that gives you flashbacks to prime Blur. The addition of Florence Shaw’s beatnik-esque spoken word lyrics and delivery really takes this project to the next level. 

The track 'Unsmart Lady' once again allows Shaw to take centre-stage. She is backed by a superbly groovy bassline and some sexy guitar noodling: it’s a slow stomp of a song, the perfect track for donning your leather jacket and walking around town to. Dry Cleaning move back into more familiar territory with their latest single 'Strong Feelings'. Shaw does an excellent job of describing the trivial details of day to day life in an intriguing and interesting manner throughout New Long Leg, but it really shines on this track, as she describes her food and her feelings in an incredibly captivating way. 

'Leafy' is another elegant and alluring cut, flowing nicely into 'Her Hippo', which is a real highlight, complete with jangly guitar that Johnny Marr would be proud of and tying in so beautifully with how Shaw sings about summer, depression, lovesick texting and so much more. She covers such a wide array of subject matter that it's almost hard to keep up and yet it makes perfect sense throughout. 

'New Long Leg' is the next track and the second single from the album. The instrumentation on this track is dripping in melancholy, with Shaw showing off her singing voice a little more - and sounding great. 'John Wick' and 'More Big Birds' are two more stellar tracks - this album is the perfect taste of life after lockdown. It feels like an evening spent catching up with an old mate, soaking up the spring sunshine in the beer garden of your favourite pub. 

The album closes out with 'A.L.C' and 'Every Day Carry'; the former of which really shows off the instrumental skill of the band, brilliantly bizarre guitar sounds and expertly measured drumming making this track a real highlight. 'Every Day Carry' may be the strongest track here - Shaw continues the theme of musing about food, shopping trollies and haircuts, painting a picture that is immaculate and putting you in her shoes as the band back her up with infectiously catchy instrumentation. The track breaks down into a loop-pedal and feedback heavy interlude before crashing back down to earth as Shaw spits “now it seems like none of that meant anything” - an incredibly strong closer to an incredibly strong album.

What gets under my skin about the whole thing is how few bands like Dry Cleaning are on this year's festival bills. There are so many woman-led and woman-driven bands creating utterly brilliant art and festival bookers are willfully ignorant to such talent - I'd take Dry Cleaning over Liam Gallagher any day of the week. 

New Long Leg arrives 2 April via 4AD.

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Photo: Press