“Do everything and feel nothing,” drawls vocalist Florence Shaw on Scratchcard Lanyard, the opening track of this debut album by Dry Cleaning, a London-based band from Brighton who have been making a splash since 2019 with the release of Magic of Meghan.
Shaw wrote their calling card single about a relationship breaking down on the same day that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement. Magic of Meghan isn’t included here, which proves just how good Dry Cleaning have become at churning out great tunes that take their angular post-punk cues from Wire, Magazine and Gang of Four.
Their unique selling point is Flo Shaw, one of the most intriguing new frontwomen in music, an artist and illustrator who grew up listening to Oasis and The Strokes. Her laconic delivery is yet another reiteration of the modern art of sprechgesang, or spoken singing, which features in everything from Sleaford Mods to Fontaines DC, and has already been dubbed “monologue rock”. If their bored, so-hip-it-hurts image initially puts you right off, then it is well worth persevering with New Long Leg.
Shaw is backed by three excellent musicians, who inject a sense of tension and succession of killer riffs, while John Parrish (aka PJ Harvey and Aldous Harding) does a stellar job on production.
Dry Cleaning bring a refreshing pop sensibility to British rock music, and New Long Leg is a cracking and captivating debut.