London quartet Dry Cleaning have followed up last year’s firecracker single “Scratchcard Lanyard” with the news of their debut album: it’s called New Long Leg and comes out on April 2 through 4AD. It was recorded in rural Wales last summer with PJ Harvey’s regular collaborator and producer John Parish.
They’ve also shared a new track called “Strong Feelings”, which Florence Shaw says is “about secretly being in love with someone who doesn’t know it, and Brexit’s disruptive role in romantic relationships.”
That creeping, slightly stalkery vibe is immediately suggested by Lewis Maynard’s bassline, which is as slithering as it is groovy. Shaw doubles down on the off-the-wall atmosphere as she opens with “Just an emo dead stuff collector / Things come to the brain.” Dry Cleaning keep “Strong Feelings” growing steadily with additions of guitar melodies and reverberations, never getting impatient as they track the protagonist’s insatiable attempts to find a connection. Shaw’s voice stays unsettlingly calm as she reveals more of herself; “I just want to tell you I’ve got scabs on my head / It’s useless to live / I’ve been thinking about eating that hot dog for hours” – and the result is a tickling and creeping winner.