When These New Puritans – the dizygotic two-piece who so insistently slice through genres with the unforgiving resolve of a hammer through a lowly melon – released Inside the Rose last March, immediately, it sounded as though the Album of the Year had dropped. (Indeed, to this day, I believe it had.) So it’s nice to know that a so-called ‘sister release’ – entitled The Cut – is due out next month. Will it match up to its most romantic of release dates: Friday, 14th February? Highly unlikely, although The Mirage – which has, today, materialised from it – proves eminently loveable all the same, as a juvenile choir stir an undercurrent of unsettlement within a song which has existed, in various forms, since Jack and George Barnett were sixteen.
Atop typically idiosyncratic instrumentation – vibraphonic flourishes and restive slivers of fickle guitar centre around stentorian drums – the former repeatedly interrogates: “Do you believe in the summer of death?” before a rather more green, and indeed great, vocal kicks in. “Do you believe in the summer of life?/ Do you believe you’ll awake from the very deep dream?/ ’Cos I believe in the summer of life/ And I believe we’ll awake from the very deep dream” go the song’s outgoing lines, lending resolution; yet while these congregated kids are quite alright, they’d do incredibly well to make the cut in the same kind of way as These New Puritans.