Photo: Sara Carpentieri

Post-punk newcomers English Teacher explore impostor syndrome and cultural identity on the ripping “R&B”

UK indie label Nice Swan Records have been unearthing talent for a few years now, especially through their Nice Swan Introduces… series, which has brought us the likes of Mandrake Handshake and Pip Blom, among many others. Today they complete their first volume by introducing us to Leeds band English Teacher. Singer Lily Fontaine is also a member of fellow BPM faves Eades, but she takes the spotlight in English Teacher, and new single “R&B” is very much her song. On the topics it covers, she says:

“‘R&B’ is about the cyclical, productivity-diminishing paradox of low self-esteem and imposter syndrome-induced writer’s block that then fuels low self-esteem and imposter syndrome. It’s also about racial identity and putting the love that you have to offer a potential romantic partner back into yourself.”

The song “R&B”, as is probably obvious by now, is not R&B at all – but that’s the point, it’s about the impressions that people have about someone like Fontaine based purely on appearance. English Teacher begin the song in restrained form, their interlocking guitar and rhythms tight but held back to allow Fontaine’s paranoid thoughts to meander with a quiet intimacy. Just when you’re getting comfortable, they ratchet up the energy with nerve-shredding riffs. This works in tandem with Fontaine’s about-face, turning her neuroses into justified indignation: “despite appearances I haven’t got the voice for R&B” she sings defiantly, and the rest of the quartet backs her up with menacing force. You won’t cross them again.

Listen to “R&B” below or on your preferred streaming platform.

“R&B” is out now on Nice Swan. You can find English Teacher on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

They’ve got these live dates ahead:

13th-14th May – The Great Escape Festival (online)
12th Aug – Record Junkee, Sheffield (w/ FEET)
13th Aug – Deaf Institute, Manchester (w/ FEET)
25th Aug – YES, Manchester (Nice Swan showcase w/ Hallan & Jaws The Shark)
31st Oct – Bootleg Social, Blackpool (w/ SPRINTS)
10th Nov – Oporto, Leeds (w/ SPRINTS)