Wednesday 8 May 2013


Hey, oh my gosh, it's These New Puritans, which is really exciting because I honestly thought that we weren't gonna hear anything from them ever again. A defeatist thought, yes, but now I'm even happier that they're back. They're back! Imagine that. Anyway, I loved their first album Beat Pyramid (2008) and also their second album Hidden; the sound between these two albums changed drastically from a distinctly stylised esoterically worded beat-driven indie band, to something more symphonic, still highly stylised and - although I hate to use this word - 'arty'.

It seems with this new release, 'Fragment Two', that we may be seeing a blend of out-there-unexpected-artiness and something a little more conventional - kind of a happy medium between the first and second album. Their new album is called Field of Reeds (out 10th June) and the title is kind of interesting for me. This is because I heard a few years ago from an interview with 'band leader' Jack Barnett that he wanted to write an opera about the islands of the Thames Estuary: their upcoming album may be that opera. But who knows. Maybe that was a pipe dream.

Anyway, on to the song.

The meaty meaty piano in the song is very 'them' (as are, as ever, the softly-spoken vocals), it sounds like a logical not-too-far departure from their last album. The way that the bass and drums then are led by this piano bashing is pretty nice - I like how everything fits in; even the backwards-organ-type-sounds that arise keep with that same rhythm. Mainly, I love how everything is just slightly off-centre - it's not standard by any means, but it's wonderfully squiffy - different instruments come in when you're not expecting it, the snare snaps exactly when you think it won't. Lovely. It builds to a climax, with some kind of horn instrument playing a truncated solo, bass notes rumbling. There is also a cheeky reverb on the snare drum every now and again.

It is quirky and I like it quite a lot. It wasn't what I was expecting, but then again nor was Hidden what I was expecting. Is avant-garde too strong? Yeah maybe. Let's just say that this song is refreshing. Like a new cuisine. Not like a peach cooler.

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