Tuesday, February 27, 2024

English Teacher's 'R&B' Is An Indie-Rock, 90s Post-Punk Infused Treat

The rising band from Leeds, English Teacher, are leaving their traces in the modern alternative-rock/indie scene in preparation for their debut album, ‘This Could Be Texas’. The band, which has a sound that is a mesh of possible influences from Paramore, Wet Leg, Willow, and My Bloody Valentine, have now released their last single, 'R&B'

'R&B' contains a gritty garage sound mixed with a bit of post-punk 90s surrealism, a slightly different bassline from their first version of the song, and an additional watery and shimmery guitar.

In 'R&B', the intentional direction is a progressive build-up of annoyance in the instrumental composition that matches the lyrics. It makes the listener curious about where the track is going to take them as the chorus shifts from a calm state to the bridge that picks up in pace, aggression, and volume, showing that the "controlled" emotion at the beginning was a facade as Lily Fontaine (lead vocalist) tries to keep her voice controlled until the chorus repeats allowing deep annoyance to be heard in her voice. 

The shift from 'R&B - Theo Verney Version' (2021) to 'R&B' gives more insight into how English Teacher no longer need to be loud to garner attention. Instead, they’re stripping back to demonstrate their full indie-rock range and who they are as they find themselves and evolve. This new version tells us what to expect with their new album; English Teacher are not shying away from creating music meant to point your attention to societal issues like identity, anxieties, prejudices, and more. As with lyrics like: "If I have stuff to write, then why don't I just write it for me? / Despite appearances, I haven't got the voice for R&B". 

It's hard to ignore how English Teacher positions themselves as a new type of modern riot. We can't wait for April to come so we can fully embrace who English Teacher has developed into with the release of ‘This Could Be Texas’!

Tyra Baker 


Image: ‘R&B’ Official Single Cover 

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