London masters of self-inflicting snark Dry Cleaning are releasing their debut album New Long Leg this Friday, April 2. We’ve already heard “Scratchcard Lanyard” and “Strong Feelings”, but they’ve given us one more last minute taste with “Unsmart Lady”. Vocalist Florence Shaw says:
“‘Fat Podgy, no make-up’ – I was thinking about these things that are supposed to be a source of shame about your appearance and wanting to use them in a powerful way. Just trying to survive when you feel knackered and put-upon and shit about yourself, but you say, ‘I don’t care what I’m supposed to be.'”
With guitars grinding, whirring into the stratosphere, then returning for some garage riffing, “Unsmart Lady” is Dry Cleaning’s most aurally extroverted song to date. Lyrically, Florence Shaw’s words are broken and bitty, but still possessing her usual snark, especially as she turns the blade inwards: “Fat podgy / Non make-up / Unsmart Lady” – but in acknowledging these shortcomings, she seizes the power back. The dichotomy between the effervescent guitar and Shaw’s monotone mumblings – while the rhythm keeps things steady – is, as always, a delightful listen.