London’s Dry Cleaning have announced their much-anticipated debut EP “Sweet Princess”, set for release August 16th on the It’s OK imprint.

It continues a period of fervent activity from the band who despite having no music online, have already seen significant interest as early headline shows and a tour in support of NYC’s Bodega quickly marked out Dry Cleaning as possessing something entirely different to the rest of the pack – their wiry, excitable post-punk and new-wave paired as it is to surreal, detached vocal narratives in the form of a predominantly spoken-word delivery.

Firm friends for years, the band (Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse, Florence Shaw & Nick Buxton) only started making music after a karaoke party in 2017 inspired a collaboration. They wrote instrumentally to begin with and six months later Shaw, a university lecturer and picture researcher by day, joined on vocals with no prior musical experience. They recorded the six-track Sweet Princess EP before playing their first show only last year.

When they started they knew they wanted to make simple music, direct and uncomplicated. The musical influences were clear – the Feelies, the Necessaries, the B52s and Pylon as a starting point. The garage/rehearsal space had a huge influence on the sound as it was so small and intimate; anything unnecessary was to be left behind. A discussion among the four band members about how to make the prospect of performing as comfortable as possible for Florence (a first-timer) ahead of the band’s first rehearsal as a four-piece, led to her using her speaking voice. There were several references for this; Will Powers, The Anaemic Boyfriends and Grace Jones among others.

The band have also released their debut single and an EP highlight, “Magic of Meghan”, a celebratory song about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

In the words of Florence:

Dry Cleaning think Meghan is really great.

The song acknowledges that following the lives of those in the public eye can provide people with an escape; an outlet for difficult emotions, and subsequently help them to cope with hard times in their lives. The song is, in part, intended to serve as a thank you to Meghan for this service (“You got engaged on the day that I moved out. It’s ok. She’s a smasher, perfectly suited to the role.”). The song also aims to highlight how the news media dissect her decisions (“Never has one outfit been designed, to send so many messages”) and the creative ways they conceal the misogyny and racism that is sometimes behind what they write about her (“You’re just what England needs, you’re going to change us.”)

The video for “Magic of Meghan” was made by Sheffield based artist Lucy Vann. Vann investigates, records and reinterprets overlooked behaviours and occurrences in the every day, in this case through moving image, but she also works with photography, writing, sound, objects and performance. Her work balances between a state of tedium and interest, and attempts to reveal something beyond the immediate surface of daily life.

The band will play the following dates in support of the EP:

19.07 – Latitude Festival, Suffolk

08.08 – Prince Albert, Brighton

09.08 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

10.08 – O2 Academy, Leicester (with Bodega)

16.08 – Green Man Festival, Breacon Beacons

21.08 – Shacklewell Arms, London

22.08 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

23.08 – YES (Basement), Manchester

24.08 – Future Yard Festival, Birkinhead

19.10 – Simple Things Festival, Bristol

20.10 – SWN Festival, Cardiff

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