Sweet Princess EP and Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP are so good, and so well formed, that I have no idea what Dry Cleaning are going to do for a full album.
Vocalist Florence Shaw takes sparse notes and neurotic lists she’s written (along with comments from social media) and layers them over the pleasantly thin instrumentation of her bandmates. It creates something that’s almost interchangeably sincere and distant. You’re never sure when something’s personal to Shaw or sourced from the bottom of YouTube comments.
darwyn on the Bandcamp page for Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP described Dry Cleaning as “the first post-Brexit punk band” and that seems fair. There are moments of uncertainty in these songs and more than a dash of the sardonic irony that uncertain times can create. But there’s still the kind of humour that the UK is known for.
This is post-punk at its most wry.
Sweet Princess EP opens with the line
During what was probably the longest two and a half months of my life after a near-death experience… the only thing that kept me going was Saw 2.
How can you not be charmed?
The guitar, bass, and drums compliment Shaw’s vocals perfectly. They wrap around the lyrics, giving them space or cover where appropriate – some lines are given centre stage and others might take a few listens to catch. Both EPs are well balanced: you can shake your hips to Dry Cleaning or you can sit still and listen to each riff and line.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this immediately enamoured by a band. I can’t wait to see what Dry Cleaning do next. And I can’t imagine what it’ll be.
Check out Sweet Princess EP and Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks EP on Apple Music or add kites can’t jive: the playlist to your library to never miss an album of the week. 🎵