Making their debut on their new label 4AD, London-based rising post-punk quartet Dry Cleaning have shared “Scratchcard Lanyard,” a single and music video that stand out even on this busy release week.
Like a less dreary descendent of “Fitter Happier,” “Scratchcard Lanyard” finds Dry Cleaning delighting in the mundane, with lead vocalist Florence Shaw deadpanning lines like “I’ve come to hand-weave my own bunk bed ladder in a few short sessions” over jangly guitars and an eminently danceable bassline. Through its cool detachment, the song suggests some value embedded in everyday nonsense while still maintaining an ironic distance.
Meanwhile, the song’s must-see visual, the directorial debut of one Rottingdean Bazaar (that is, artist duo James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks, who also saw to its set design), centers on Shaw, whose speak-singing face appears larger than life thanks to the tiny nightclub constructed around it. The red curtains of the stage frame her face like some strange haircut; she exhales smoke, acting as her own fog machine; a golf ball-sized disco ball spins; dolls (one wearing a Dry Cleaning shirt) dance, DJ and sling drinks.
But the video goes from good to great when it zooms out of the “nightclub,” revealing Shaw standing beside her bandmates Nick Buxton (drums), Tom Dowse (guitar) and Lewis Maynard (bass), lost inside the illusion she still can’t quite see the entire truth of. “Do everything and feel nothing,” she urges as we zoom back in, returning to revel in her little world. By the end of the video, the band have disappeared—the nightclub is closed.
Dry Cleaning say of their new single and video in a statement:
In the search for your true calling in life, it’s easy to try so many things that you end up confused. It can lead to an enormous build-up of frustration. You may fantasise about exacting revenge upon your real or imagined enemies. Ephemeral things and small-scale escapist experiences can provide some relief!
Last year, Dry Cleaning released a pair of acclaimed EPs, Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks and Sweet Princess. The quartet have completed their debut album, with “details to follow soon,” per a press release.
Watch the “Scratchcard Lanyard” video below and stay tuned for further updates on Dry Cleaning’s debut album.