Stream Of Consciousness: A Listen To New Long Leg By Dry Cleaning
Updated: Apr 4
An invitation to eavesdrop on a vehemently realistic internal dialogue set to a musical score of intuitive tendencies awaits in debut record New Long Leg from British Post-Punk Wordplayers Dry Cleaning, released April 2nd on 4AD. It may cause healthy debate, stating that Florence Shaw is merely saying what is flowing through her consciousness aloud, not so: the rhythmic pattern and combination of the spoken word snaking through demure and thoughtful composing is bewitching. This girl is smart; this band is smart.
2019 EPs Sweet Princess and Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks provided the scope to tour and learn each other's customs. However, chemistry like this can't be forced- it thrives. If Boys In The Better Land is the Fons' 'world domination is imminent' track, opener Scratchcard Laynard is Cleanings'.
As the rumblings of our inner voice, sometimes the thoughts are deeper than the ocean and at times as trivial as eating a Twix. Florence has bumped into a past relationship from many years ago here and is listing random hobbies she tried to better herself. Ultimately it all seems fruitless and hollow, a bit like Instagram can on a bad day: "Filter, I love these mighty oaks, don't you? Do everything and feel nothing."
Producer John Parish has placed attention on the velvet voice, but the ear is free to wander between music and word catching flashes of expression and crisp riffs from members Tom Dowse, Nick Buxton, and Lewis Maynard. In Strong Feelings, the bass and drums act as a repetitive steady skeleton, convening neatly with the flowering guitar.
A Lou Reed Walk on the Wild Side pace emerges from Leafy addressing coarse emotion and finding humour in clearing a previously shared space. A significant life event again is characterised by the mundane: "Simple pimple, stomach stab, what are the things that you have to clear out? Baking powder, a big jar of mayonnaise, what about all the onions? Sausages." Her Hippo continues the comical to the most indie atmosphere track of the ten: "An electrician stuck his finger in the plug hole and shouted Yabba."
John Wick sonically exhibits its many faces and intricacies, while the guitar in A.L.C. converses with the intentional pauses serving the space between speech. In an unusual twist, end number Every Day Carry glances at Oasis powerhouse D'You Know What I Mean? instrumental, which only further shows the small details that Dry Cleaning derives from every minuscule part of life, using dry wit and observation to salute the weird existence in our own head. Impressive.
Article by Beverley Knight