South London four-piece Dry Cleaning hit the road this month for a run of UK tour dates, including a show at Green Door Store on Fri 28 Feb. Found across most ‘Ones To Watch’ lists this year, Dry Cleaning’s simple, direct and uncomplicated post-punk sound is the product of influence from The Feelies, The Necessaries, B52s, Pylon and an intimate garage/rehearsal space. Two EPs down, including 2019’s Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks, a collection of chapter marking songs named after the location and context of a shared genesis, the band continue to expand the palette of their sound with nagging the simplicity and directness of their acclaimed songwriting.
Firm friends for years, the band (Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse, Florence Shaw & Nick Buxton) only started making music after a party in 2017 inspired a collaboration. They wrote instrumentally to begin with and six months later Shaw, a university lecturer and picture researcher by day, joined on vocals with no prior musical experience. They recorded their debut Sweet Princess EP before playing their first show in 2018.
A discussion among the four band members about how to make the prospect of performing as comfortable as possible for Florence (a first timer) ahead of the band’s first rehearsal as a four piece, led to her using her speaking voice. There were several references for this; Will Powers, The Anaemic Boyfriends and Grace Jones,among others.
Sweet Princess saw the band arrive fully-formed, and in the brief two months or so since a debut single – their paean to Meghan Markle, Magic of Meghan – landed, the band have seen significant international press and radio support, including a 7.8 for the EP at Pitchfork and playlisting at 6 Music. Additionally, Stereogum has named them a Band to Watch.
Boundary Road’s collection of songs takes its name from the location and context of a shared genesis, and marks a significant chapter for the band as the last tracks to be written in their original rehearsal space. The offering displays a more evolved sound than its predecessor; more textured and confidently realized without overlooking the melodic subtleties or minimal approach implicit on their debut. There is a pop sensibility to the lyrics and a sense that this writing process has become more fluid; words are consciously used with more economy and are often repeated. With this new recording, Dry Cleaning seek to expand the palette of their sound without nagging the simplicity and directness of their songwriting.
Dry Cleaning play Brighton; s Green Door Store, on Sat 28 Feb 2020
Image by Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz