What is Florence Shaw even talking about? No one can be too sure, except perhaps herself. But there’s something about her monotone, very British talking voice that draws you in on Dry Cleaning’s debut record, “New Long Leg.”
You wouldn’t expect such a stagnant singer to front such a noisy band, but that is what really makes this post-punk band stand from the rest. In 2017, Shaw joined guitarist Tom Dowse’s band while attending art school together after much persuasion. A visual artist over a musician, she was inclined to join after agreeing that she could simply talk rather than sing. The band later added bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton, and formed two heaving-hitting EPs and their debut album, which released in April 2021.
With wacky, off-the-wall lyrics, fuzzy guitar strums, and deep bass tones, Dry Cleaning is making their place known among new-age British post-punk. Shaw’s lyrics feel random at times, like you’re in the head of an easily-distracted person, yet when you listen closely, you realize that she writes with much intention. For one example, the album’s single “Scratchcard Lanyard” boasts “do everything and feel nothing,” as Shaw’s voice and facial movements prove just that.
The second track on the record, “Unsmart Lady” shows the bands capabilities to get loud with heavy, even a taste of psychedelic riffs and a head-banging drum and bass combo. Whereas songs like “Leafy” show their softer side with a indie synth-pop sound and a bass line that you can’t help but swing your hips to.
Overall, Dry Cleaning presents their fearless, unique sound to the world on their first full-length record, and it doesn’t seem they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Though I often have no idea what message the band is trying to relay, I can’t help but be drawn in and listen to “New Long Leg” the whole way through.
Check out their debut record below and catch them live in a town near you this Summer and Fall.