Three songs in and Nottingham quartet Divorce haven’t missed yet, have they? The band’s new single “Checking Out” offers another fuzz-drenched slice of kitchen sink storytelling. It’s actually a murder ballad, but not one rooted in the cliché twisted love story. The song tells a tale of two estranged lovers living in a rough neighborhood. The wife, played by Tiger Cohen-Towell, feels unsafe: she hides a steak knife under the bed in case there’s a house invasion when her husband is away, and of course it all ends in blood and tears.
“I’ve always loved dramatic country and western ballads and a major inspiration for the track was country-singer Marty Robbins,” Cohen Towell comments. “Who writes the most intense ‘gunfighter ballads’, which are bordering on slap-stick in their incessant violence and all-American heroism. I wanted to flip that on its head by having a female narrator who feels justified in her heinous act because those gunfighter ballads make you root for the underdog anti-hero, even if they are behaving completely irrationally — that’s a running theme in country music I think. ‘Checking Out’ is satirical and humorous, whilst getting into the head of a person who has been pushed too far and had enough of mistreatment in a relationship (although I don’t condone murder!)”
Much like “Services”, “Checking Out” offers a fun, eye-brow raising mix of indie rock and roots music. But Divorce add a new wrinkle to their craft by ending the song with a spectral semi-ambient freak folk passage with chiming guitars and clattering percussion, sorta reminiscent of Megatrain, the project Cohen-Towell and Felix MacKenzie-Barrow formed before they became Divorce. Furthermore, the band announced their debut EP “Get Mean”, out December 2 via Hand In Hive (preorder via Bandcamp).
As Divorce revealed in our Q&A feature, Cohen-Towell and MacKenzie-Barrow have deep roots in the field of stage acting, which is evident by the music video depicting the song’s storyline with a school play kind of charm. Check it out below or find the song on streaming outlets.
4th Oct – Polar Bear, Hull 5th Oct – Sidney & Matilda, Sheffield 6th Oct – Hare & Hounds 2, Birmingham 7th Oct – The Shooting Gallery @ Zerox, Newcastle 8th Oct – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh 9th Oct – Broadcast, Glasgow 11th Oct – Hope & Ruin, Brighton 12th Oct – Sebright Arms, London 13th Oct – The Loft, Portsmouth 15th Oct – The Crofters Rights, Bristol 21st-22nd – Left Of The Dial, Rotterdam 28th Oct – The Bodega, Nottingham