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(Credit: Ben Rayner)

Music

Dry Cleaning announce new album 'Stumpwork'

@TylerGolsen
Dry Cleaning - 'Don't Press Me'
7.7

British post-punk foursome Dry Cleaning have returned to announce their second studio album, Stumpwork.

“The words in the chorus came about because I was trying to write a song to sing to my own brain, ‘You are always fighting me / You are always stressing me out’,” vocalist Florence Shaw wrote in a statement.

The new record comes just over a year after the group’s phenomenal debut LP, New Long Leg, was released back in 2021. Featuring angular guitar lines, monotone vocals, and an aggressive punch, New Long Leg was our favourite album of last year, so expectations are high for Stumpwork.

We’re also getting our first taste of the new record today thanks to the new single ‘Don’t Press Me’. Short and succinct, ‘Don’t Press Me’ is two minutes of swirling guitar, rumbling bass, surprisingly light production, and perhaps the first real melodies ever sung by Shaw on record. Shaw has always been more of a narrator than a singer, and there’s plenty of that on ‘Don’t Press Me’, but there’s also some real harmony work going on as well.

In that same spirit of adding new layers to the band’s sound, Tom Dowse’s guitar work is less distorted and jagged than most of the band’s previous work. Dry Cleaning were never really an indie rock band, but ‘Don’t Press Me’ is certainly the closest to the genre that they’ve ever come. Still, middle-of-the-road Dry Cleaning remains most other people’s left field, so there’s no need to worry about the band going soft.

‘Don’t Press Me’ only recently started making appearances in the band’s live shows: when Dry Cleaning came around to the Ottobar in Baltimore a month ago, I didn’t get to hear the new track. In fact, it looks as though the band’s return to England to play the Meltdown Festival on Monday was the first-ever live performance of the song. That audience got an early preview, but now the rest of us can begin counting the days until Stumpwork is released.

Check out the video for ‘Don’t Press Me’ down below. Stumpwork is set for an October 21st release.