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New music review with English Teacher and Langkamer

Our weekly fix of the best new music as Julia Mason brings us her review of new singles from Langkamer 'Jenny' and English Teacher 'Mastermind Specialism'.

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground

Artist: English Teacher

Track: Mastermind Specialism

Leeds band English Teacher release new single Mastermind Specialism
Credit Tatiana Pozuelo

Leeds band English Teacher have released their new single Mastermind Specialism via Island Records. In addition they have confirmed their biggest headline show to date at London’s Electric Brixton on May 29th 2024. Mastermind Specialism follows The World’s Biggest Paving Slab and Nearly Daffodils as preludes to their debut album.

It rounds off a fantastic 2023 for the band with their debut appearance on Later With … Jools Holland earlier this month (see below) and their announcement as overall Independent Venue Week Artist Ambassador for 2024 following in the footsteps of Wolf Alice, Arlo Parks, Wet Leg & Beabadoobee. (Plus a Los Angeles gig supported by our very own Jagged Baptist Club - ed).

Expanding on Mastermind Specialism frontwoman Lily Fontaine stated: “Decision paralysis is an ache that has murmured in me through sitting on smaller fences, through to questioning my theology, my sexuality, my career and so on. Watching Jaco Van Dormael’s incredible sci-fi/fantasy Mr Nobody put the cause and effect of this issue into perspective; my life has been consistent in its inconsistency. 12 different houses across the country and mixed-race I’ve always been a bit in-between and I think that’s where this song, and a lot of the songs we’re due to release, come from. That's a bit of an essay so alternatively you can just say I responded with a shrug!"

It’s a slower paced track but no less for that. The instrumentation is crisp with the opening plucking guitar and yet a touch of chaos in the background. The space gives room for vocalist Lily Fontaine to lead the track. Quietly assured it's pitch perfect, full of calm so the thought-provoking lyrics can take centre stage:

Couldn’t make a decision

On Mastermind specialism.

No career, no religion.

Another year, no precision.

I am the lamb you had for your tea

And I am the tiger who came.

I am the bag you boiled her in

The water, the teeth, the flame.

English Teacher is Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, vocals), Nicholas Eden (bass), Lewis Whiting (lead guitar) English Teacher Live Dates 12th Dec - The Lexington, London (End Of The Road Christmas Party) 2024

28th Jan - The Crescent, York 29th Jan - The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge 31st Jan - Moles, Bath 1st Feb - Polar Bear, Hull 2nd Feb - Whereelse?, Margate 3rd Feb - Bedford Esquires, Bedford 29th May - Electric Brixton, London

* * *

Artist: Langkamer

Track: Jenny

Bristol slacker quartet Langkamer release new single Jenny
Credit Langkamer

Bristol slacker quartet Langkamer have released their melancholic new single Jenny via Breakfast Records (Getdown Services) ahead of a bundle of dates in December.

The single was written, recorded, mixed and mastered by the band in their Bristol base and is a gentle, yet bittersweet tale with gorgeous guitar riffs and heartfelt, impassioned lyrics. There is a hint of a country twang here, which perfectly encapsulates the theme of the song. The imagery of the lyrics is a delight and create a picture in the listeners mind eye. The vocal teeters on the edge of emotion, just about holding it together.

Langkamer expand further on the track: “Jenny is a song about vulnerability and self-defence. About the walls that some people put up around themselves to try and stay safe. Some people have this veneer of bravado and distance, but it only serves to make them weaker and more vulnerable.” 

Langkamer have released two acclaimed albums, an EP and a string of standalone singles in the space of two just years, collaborating with the likes of Willie J Healey, Fenne Lily and Clara Mann during this period.

Langkamer comprise Ed Soles (guitar/organ/percussion/vocals), Dan Anthony (guitar/vocals), Josh Jarman (drums/vocals), Tom Kelly (Bass/vocals).

Langkamer Tour Dates 1 Dec - Bristol Exchange (supporting Getdown Services)

8 Dec - Bristol Thekla (Supporting Opus Kink)

10 Dec - Totnes The Barrel House

15 Dec - London The Victoria

16 Dec - Oxford Common Ground


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