Bass lines booglarize and cowbells click-clack. The crinkle-cut Yorkshire tongue of English Teacher’s Lily Fontaine versifies a puckish satire on the pitfalls of the Track and Trace system: ‘Good Grief’ analogises the much maligned public health ordinance as a pair of hapless lovers; they witness far too much pandemic chaos – a run on cough drops, arrests of the maskless, and the like – and far too little of each other’s bedrooms.
While previous 2021 outings ‘R&B’ and ‘Wallace’ bubbled and brooded with punkish dominion, The latest from the Nice Swan mainstays skips with an altogether zingier tread. ‘Good Grief’ pridefully buffs out it’s chest, Orielles-like in its buoyancy, coddling ears with hooky refrains before crescendoing towards a rapturous climax – guitar bashing, cymbal crashing, background screams, escalations key upon key, feedback to launch 1000 ambulances. At the pinnacle of it’s tension, the maelstrom withdraws, as if sucked into a vacuum; that booglarizing bass-line resumes to fill the void, Fontaine finishes her piece, leaving in her wake one of English Teacher’s tightest and most dramatic recordings.
Among the more playful responses to this infamous virus, proffering witticism and word-smithery sharper than the daily hikes in positive cases, with fellow Leeds upcomers Yard-Act contemporaneously concocting brews of mosh-able eloquence, it leaves one hopelessly fantasising the emergence of some politically-astute Indie-literati from West Yorkshire’s cheap-pint streets.
Photo by Holly Whitaker
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