Anglo alt-rock band These New Puritans makes music that’s anything but puritanical. If anything, it’s more synth rock meets beat prose.
The South End group just announced the details of their sophomore album, Hidden, a collection of 11 smashing tunes set to be released in January. They’ve come a long way from playing the now defunct Junk Club in their hometown. The album still retains the band’s rough, young and free-spirited sound while adding interesting sounds to the usual rock drum/guitar essentials. According to TNPS’s website they used the sound of a melon being smashed by a hammer with cream crackers on top, just to get the sound of a human head being smashed. Very Hitchcock indeed.
In 2008 the band released their first album, Beat Pyramid, which the London indie crowd approved of. The group might be more familiar to menswear aficionados. Hedi Slimane, former designer of Dior Homme, asked the band to record the 15-minute song “Navigate, Navigate” for the house’s fall 2007 runway show.
The band, which comprises Jack Barnett (vocals/instrumental), George Barnett (drums), Thomas Hein (bass guitar) and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson (keyboard) is known to experiment with different sounds. For their new album, they recorded a 13-piece woodwind and brass band that included an alto flute, a contrabassoon and a flugelhorn. Add to that the sound of Japanese taiko drums, sub-heavy beats, and a children’s choir, and you’ve got the eclectic sound behind Hidden. Once the music was arranged and printed, the group headed to Prague and recorded the album in a single shot.
“We wanted crashing brass that sounded like the sea, something like Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. It was also influenced by English Renaissance composers such as William Byrd and Christopher Tye,” Jack tells Another Man magazine. “To me it’s embarrassing when bands bring in classical instrumentation to make their music sound anthemic or ‘orchestral.’ We’ve done the opposite – now our music is even more uneven and distressed.”
Their new 7-minute single “We Want War” comes out in early before the album drops Jan. 18. Catch them in St. Petersburg Nov. 21 for a show at the Hermitage Museum, and then in Tokyo Nov. 27. TNPS won’t be playing in the UK until January.