It’s been some time since we’ve heard anything cogent from Southend ensemble These New Puritans – some time too long. In the meanwhile since the release of their quite rightly widely heralded Hidden LP of 2010, Thomas Hein has been seen partaking in psychological learnings at Goldsmiths, George Barnett has led a considerably more two-dimensional existence in once ubiquitous Fred Perry advertising and braniacal bro Jack can be traced to the northern end of the Piccadilly line, a backpack brimming with frayed cables more or less surgically affixed to his spine. They have, to “quote/ unquote” the first cohesive song we’ve heard from ‘em in that protracted while, existed as “the islands where we used to swim” distanced from one another by time and space. Though no man should live as such, and the troupe are all the more formidable when united in unrelenting struggle against convention and Fragment Two makes for a quintessentially progressive listen. Featuring spectral vocal harmonies courtesy of the newly acquired Elisa Rodrigues, that same skeletal orchestration to have allowed Hidden to stand a beacon of ingenuity, and a spooked piano loop it’s just so them, darling. And that fact alone renders it utterly sensational.
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