Far Out favourites, Dry Cleaning, have surprise-released a brand new double A-side single ‘Bug Eggs’ and ‘Tony Speaks!’
The two tracks were recorded during the New Long Leg sessions at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire. Rockfield, you know, the studio that made Rush’s Hemispheres, and The Damned’s The Black Album, and The Stone Roses debut album, and mother-flipping ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Yeah, that dump.
“‘Bug Eggs’ is about the confidence that comes with age, fragility and sexual desire,” lead singer Florence Shaw explains in a press release. “The lyrics to ‘Tony Speaks!’ were written days after the Conservative party won the December 2019 UK election. I was thinking about climate change, environmental catastrophes and political campaigning.”
Slow, steady disillusionment with the world around you seems to be a pretty common theme in Dry Cleaning’s work. I’m sure someone will inform me of who specifically the Tony in ‘Tony Speaks!’ is, but seeing as how I am American and therefore largely ignorant of British politics, I can not say with confidence. Tony Blair? Nah, probably not. A personal figure that’s not a major political figure in post-Brexit Britain? Maybe.
All I do know is that ‘Tony Speaks!’ bobs along with a ragged and totally rad bass line from Lewis Maynard while Shaw intones about the imminent doom of the world around her. “I’m just sad about the collapse of heavy industry/Be alright, in a bit.” Guitarist Tom Dowse always seems to find the best wrong notes to ratchet the tension up a notch: when Shaw is mentioning goblins like a twisted children’s book narrator, Dowse is filling the background with spooky bends and spidery guitar runs.
‘Bug Eggs’ is a little more immediate. Obvious not melodic, because this is still Dry Cleaning, but certainly more structured and dare I say catchy than most of the band’s previous material. Maybe it’s just because I love the line “I was a toasted teenage peanut” so much that I want to write it again (“I was a toasted teenage peanut”), but ‘Bug Eggs’ is quickly climbing up to be my favourite Dry Cleaning song. Sorry ‘Leafy’, you’ve got competition.
Check out the double A-side single down below.