Announce new album, The Official Body
Due 19th January on FatCat Reccords
Share pool party video for single, THE HYPE
UK/EU tour in November
“Direct, smart, catchy, and extremely punk, Shopping is a band for our confusing times.” –Pitchfork
“Shopping remain as idiosyncratic as they are addictive” – Loud and Quiet
“A breakneck, post-punk canter, cementing their status as monarchs of the UK DIY pop underground” – NME
“dizzying riffs and a post-punk rhythm section that makes people want to dance” – Stereogum
“London’s anti-capitalist DIY trio challenge their audiences to think — and dance” – SPIN
Post-punk trio Shopping are excited to announce their new album, The Official Body, due 19th January 2018 on FatCat Records and recorded and produced by Edwyn Collins.
“We’ve always felt like what we do is political in that it’s cathartic and healing in some way, but at some point it just felt like making ‘political’ music was a bit like putting a tiny band aid on an enormous wound,” says Rachel Aggs (vocals, guitar), as she describes the sense of disorientation that lies at the foundation of the album. While it may have been tempting to adopt a more serious tone, Shopping remained humorous in their approach — the album’s title (established before any of the songs were written), The Official Body, is a play on the idea of official bodies of power and control, “the mystical powers that be” as Billy Easter (bass) deems them, as well as the construct of a physical body that fits within the societal paradigm of what is “acceptable.”
Along with the announcement, the band share new video for ‘THE HYPE‘, a song about thinking for yourself, taking matters into your own hands and not listening to other people or institutions that try to take advantage and tell you what to think or how to be.
The band say of it, “It’s a wake up call to action that says don’t believe everything you hear, always question whats presented to you and don’t just sit around and think about making change before it’s too late.”
Rachel Aggs (guitar/vocals) adds, “But it’s also a party song! We liked offsetting the serious, dead-pan lyrics with the relaxed yet self-assured funk of the song itself, we had a lot of fun writing it – it has a guitar solo and everything! I always wanted to do a song with a drum and bass breakdown section where the guitar drops out too, I find that part so satisfying.”
Shopping have also announced a November tour of the UK and Europe, including a date at London’s Kamio on 10th November. Full dates are as follows:
Monday 6th November – GLASGOW – The Art School
Tuesday 7th November – LEEDS – Wharf Chambers
Wednesday 8th November – YORK – Crescent
Thursday 9th November – CARDIFF – Gwdihw Cafe Bar
Friday 10th November – LONDON – Kamio
Sarurday 11th November – PARIS – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
Sunday 12th November – VILLEFRANCHE DE ROUERGUE – Les Haut Parleurs
Monday 13th November – BORDEAUX – l’Avant Scène
Tuesday 14th November – SAN SEBASTIAN – Dabada
Thursday 16th November – ALICANTE – Sala Marearock
Friday 17th November – BARCELONA – Be Good
Saturday 18th November – LYON – Grnd Zero
Sunday 19th November – BIEL – Le Salopard
Tuesday 21st November – ESSLINGEN – Komma
Wednesday 22nd November – BAMBURG – tbc
Thursday 23rd November – LEIPZIG – Tiff
Friday 24th November – NUREMBERG – Desi
Saturday 25th November – BERLIN – Zukunft Am Ostkreuz
Sunday 26th November – HAMBURG – Goldener Salon
Monday 27th November – GRONNIGEN – Vera
Tuesday 28th November – LIEGE – Kulturaliege
Wednesday 29th November – ANTWERP – Het Bos
Thursday 30th November – ROTTERDAM – Worm
Friday 1st December – SAARBRÜCKEN – Das Modul
Following the release of their 2013 debut Consumer Complaints, and 2015’s follow-up Why Choose, Shopping found themselves in an unrelenting cycle of touring, making their way across the UK, Europe, and the US.
In London, Power Lunches, a hub for the city’s DIY scene and the band’s usual rehearsal and writing space, closed down. Then their drummer, Andrew Milk, relocated to Glasgow, and the band could suddenly no longer spontaneously get together to practice or write. The distance added an element of pressure: “As a band that only ever writes collaboratively, it’s essential for us to actually be together in the room before any songs start to formulate. It can be a little daunting when we all turn up, and we only have an afternoon to pull a song out of thin air”.
Add to that a sprinkling of Brexit, Trump, a principally imploding world, and you’ve got yourself The Official Body— Shopping’s second album to be released on FatCat Records, recorded and produced by Edwyn Collins.
The themes that figure in the songs are indeed weighty. For instance, in Suddenly Gone, while a razor-sharp guitar sound punctuates the track’s rhythmic urgency, Rachel refers to “feeling used and undervalued as a queer and/or person of colour making music or art.” Or the track Wild Child, a dancey number led by Billy’s sweeping bassline, in which the lyrics talk about acknowledging the cracks in the facade of one’s idols, who aren’t always able to keep up the facade. “I was specifically thinking about the way some drag queens do this really well,” explains Aggs; “It’s about projecting the persona of someone who is always free, always partying and you can’t imagine them ever worrying about their work rota or buying cereal. It’s important to see through it, to know it’s fake but at the same time, it’s so intriguing and seductive. I think this anarchic, flamboyant spirit is really important to queer culture.”
The thematic gravitas of the album contrasts with the band’s evolving sound. Seeking to “amp up the party vibe,” the trio added synth and drum pads to their customary guitar-drums-bass set-up. Recorded over 10 days by Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow studio, The Official Body stays true to the minimal dance-punk ethos of Shopping’s previous releases, fans of which will undoubtedly find this logical unfolding of their musical approach thoroughly satisfying.
Rachel Aggs (guitar, vocals), Billy Easter (bass, vocals), Andrew Milk (drums, vocals)