Freya Darbyshire

Preview: Clean Cut Kid- ‘Painkiller’

Before their UK tour begins in a month’s time, Clean Cut Kid are set to reveal their new EP, Painkiller, in its entirety, on 22nd October. After releasing debut album Felt in 2017, one might expect the release of more bubbly indie-pop hits like Vitamin C’. However, the band decide to move away from writing about popular themes like romance, as heard in the lyrics of this particular song: ‘I’m gonna keep you safe, keep you warm’, and affectionate sentiments like ‘I’ll never forget seeing my reflection in your eyes’ in Leaving You Behind’. Instead, the four piece band from Liverpool slow their EP right down with bass-driven, soft vocalised songs. The beginning of Emily’, which has already been released alongside a video too, strongly resembles Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams’ with its similar beat structure. The use of mirrors in its music video allow for the simultaneous reflection of the image we want to portray to the world versus our inner fragmented self. The soothing rhythm of this song is also heard in Stay Awake’, which is punctuated with angelic, echoing vocals and what sounds like the “boing” noise that is produced by a jaw harp, altogether giving it a dream-like quality. This harmonizes well with the songs’ tender themes of compassion and friendship.

I feel that the songs on the EP would benefit from more keyboard solos from band member Evelyn. Despite this, I like how she leads some of the lyrics in the song, a change from being backing vocalist. Altogether, the nuanced tones of Emily’ and Stay Awake’, with its textured guitar strums, juxtapose well with the confident drum beat and triumphant guitar finish in Slow Progress’. The beats in this song remind me of heavy footsteps, livening up and injecting confidence into the EP. The sounds successfully mingle, creating a boisterous track which stands out as the most energetic piece on the EP.

Clean Cut Kid’s retro releases will be exciting to hear live for the first time in just over a month’s time. Their decision to perform at intimate venues, known for their great acoustics due to their small size, is a great choice which will allow the new additions to be heard in all their glory.

Tickets are available here: https://listings.ticketweb.co.uk/cleancutkid for the following dates and locations:

Thursday 22nd November – Glasgow Stereo
Friday 23rd November – Leeds The Wardrobe
Sunday 25th November – Nottingham The Bodega
Monday 26th November – Birmingham The Hare and Hounds
Tuesday 27th November – Bristol Exchange
Wednesday 28th November – London Omeara
Friday 30th November – Liverpool Arts Club

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