Tuesday, June 29, 2021

English Teacher Is Serving Up Some First Class Social Commentary With New Single ‘Wallace’

Have you been worried about the rising wave of nationalism befalling the UK recently? How convenient, so have English Teacher. Have you been wanting a new song to artfully describe how you’re feeling? Perfect, English Teacher has got you covered then with their new single ‘Wallace’.

Leeds-based alt-punk band English Teacher gave us their B-side single ‘Wallace’ following their release of the A-side track ‘R&B’. 

A song named after Wallace Hartley, the conductor of the band on the Titanic, ‘Wallace’ perfectly encapsulates the phenomenon of a society letting itself be lulled into distractions while your ship is going down around you. 

The band wanted to create a song inspired by the rise of right-wing politics that they especially saw in their neighbourhoods.

This is the kind of song I’d expect to hear in an underground bar, far too cool for me, but not inaccessibly so. From the off, you can hear the alt-punk and rock influences in the almost drone-like guitar that sets the rhythm and the tone for this song. Then floats in the spoken word poetry that offsets the heavier instrumental. 

The mellifluous tones of the vocals almost belie the sardonic nature of the lyrics themselves. The band is not afraid of gaps in their lyrics which helps the listener absorb the truths that this song speaks.

The addition of strings serves both irony and good listening. When one thinks about what inspired this song, the string section ushers in the moment that the ship goes down and so I give a nod to that bit of symbolism. But even without this, the strings work blended into the more in-your-face instrumental that carries you through.

Go listen to ‘Wallace’ so that years from now when English Teacher is racking up the listens, you can say to your friends, "yeah, but I was a fan before they were big".

Chloe Boehm


Image: English Teacher Official Album Artwork

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