Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:16 minutes | 1003 MB | Genre: Art Rock, Alternative Rock, Post-Punk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © 4AD

Dry Cleaning’s 2021 debut New Long Leg was a critical and commercial hit in the UK (and a cult smash in the US), topping the indie album chart and breaking the top 5 on the all-genre chart. Frontwoman Florence Shaw isn’t so much a singer as a vocalist, speaking the lyrics in a dusky, rich and inquisitive voice that you can imagine narrating audio books (if only someone would hire her for a navigation app). She hadn’t been in a band before Dry Cleaning, but had a habit of jotting down everyday musings on her phone—giving her an instant treasure trove of curious, sometimes elliptical lyrics. That hasn’t changed on the South London band’s second album. Excellent opener “Anna Calls from The Arctic”— taking cues from the high-drama of film composer John Barry and cruising on groovy bass—finds her recounting a conversation with a friend calling from the Arctic: “Nothing works/ Everything’s expensive/ And opaque and privatized/ My shoe organizing thing arrived/ Thank god.” But in Shaw’s distinct, disarming delivery, the mundane feels surreal. “Things are shit, but they’re gonna be OK,” she declares on “Kwenchy Kups,” which is about the joy of seeing otters and shows a smirking side of Shaw: “And I’m going to see the water caterpillar/ There’s no such thing/ Hmm? Nice idea.” The music, meanwhile, here and across many tracks, is like Wire served sunny side-up. But Wire never wrote a song like “Gary Ashby,” an ode to a pet turtle who escaped during lockdown, with Shaw cooing his name. “Driver’s Story” is chill-out music with spiky edges and the frontwoman’s deep “oooooooohs” show a Kim Gordon influence. “Hot Penny Day” is s funked-up sonic freak-out, and “Stumpwork” jangles like late-era Pavement (complete with Steve Malkmus-worthy lyrics: “All the hairs on my arm raise up/ Because you are wearing a fleece/ That has become electrified”). Hard-charging “Don’t Press Me” finds Shaw melodically complaining to herself about stressing herself out, shadowed by a whistle that almost sounds like feedback. And bottom-heavy “Conservative Hell,” its elastic bass ricocheting, is like the world’s catchiest Yelp review: “I wanted to thank you for organizing the Edinburgh trip/ Which, apart from what happened to my Kindle, was amazing!” – Shelly Ridenour

1-01. Dry Cleaning – Anna Calls From The Arctic (04:57)
1-02. Dry Cleaning – Kwenchy Kups (02:45)
1-03. Dry Cleaning – Gary Ashby (02:10)
1-04. Dry Cleaning – Driver’s Story (03:41)
1-05. Dry Cleaning – Hot Penny Day (03:37)
1-06. Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork (04:11)
1-07. Dry Cleaning – No Decent Shoes For Rain (05:57)
1-08. Dry Cleaning – Don’t Press Me (01:50)
1-09. Dry Cleaning – Conservative Hell (03:48)
1-10. Dry Cleaning – Liberty Log (06:52)
1-11. Dry Cleaning – Icebergs (05:23)




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