Feature, News, Reviews

English Teacher Announces Debut LP “This Could Be Texas” Set For Release April 12th via Island Records & Shares New Single “Albert Road”

January 19, 2024
Photo Credit: Tatiana Pozuelo

English Teacher Announces Debut LP “This Could Be Texas” Set For Release April 12th via Island Records

New Single “Albert Road” Out Now 

Leeds indie frontrunners English Teacher announce debut LP ‘This Could Be Texas’(pre-order here), set for release April 12th via Island Records, and share poignant new track ‘Albert Road’, arriving today (January 19th) alongside news of their biggest UK headline tour to date this spring.

Comprising of Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, piano, vocals), Nicholas Eden (bass) and Lewis Whiting (lead guitar), ‘This Could Be Texas’ marks the culmination of a band who have worked tirelessly to craft and develop their music. From their earliest days practicing in basements around Leeds, to gigging at grassroots venues and more, the group’s debut record provides a fitting reflection of their work to date. With its intricately layered and meticulously crafted melodies, the four-piece explore far-ranging themes such as a lack of belonging, collective anxiety and insecurity, as explained by enigmatic frontperson Fontaine:

“I want this album to feel like you’ve gone to space and it turns out it’s almost identical to Doncaster. It’s about inbetweens, it’s about home, and it’s about Desire Paths.” In several songs, Fontaine reflects on growing up as a mixed-race individual in a place, she says, “where many didn’t have any tolerance towards people who are different” in a post-Brexit landscape.

This is exemplified by the gentle, gorgeous balladry of newest LP reveal ‘Albert Road’“Don’t take their prejudice to heart / They hate everyone / The world around them never showed / How loving can be fun,” Fontaine sings on this emotive album standout. Guitar driven with touches of synth and brass, it’s reminiscent of the crushing heart-on-sleeve lyricism of The National’s Matt Berninger. “And that’s why we are how we are” Fontaine sings at the song’s end, as it builds up to a screaming crescendo.  

English Teacher are at their best when they capture such a wealth of emotion in their vision, “Albert Road” commences with this fragile aspect, and the power comes through initially from the stunning vocal range and the intimate lyrics. The emotion in the words expanding, growing stronger, powerful and essential. The lyrics twist through such deep passages, joined by the instrumentation as they too embark on this euphoric crescendo. Gaining friction, the soundscape expands, the tones emerge and the rhythm stands with this fierce position. The keys join with this gentle dazzle through the heightened chaos of the exploration, the energy enthrals, standing supreme with Lily’s final harmonic cry. You find yourself completely hooked on the grandeur of the power before it abruptly ends and your world faces silence, in awe of the ensemble that just moved you so much.

Preceded by initial LP reveals ‘The World’s Biggest Paving Slab’, ‘Nearly Daffodils’ and ‘Mastermind Specialism’, which were all A-listed on the BBC 6 Music playlist, English Teacher’s remarkable ascent continues to reach new levels, having completed sold-out debut UK and US headline runs last autumn, following their thrilling debut appearance on Later With…Jools Holland (watch here). Announced as Independent Venue Week Artist Ambassador for 2024 (following in the footsteps of Wolf Alice, Arlo Parks, Wet Leg & Beabadoobee), the four-piece are primed to hit the road later this month; having previously been vocal advocates for unblocking the regional pipeline (Fontaine has written pieces for both NME & DIY on these issues). Fontaine will also be DJ-ing at BBC 6 Music Festival in Manchester this March, before the band embark on their biggest UK headline tour to date later in the spring to coincide with their album release.

With acclaimed debut EP ‘Polyawkward’ ushering their extraordinary rise in the last few years, the band’s biting social commentary and unique musical soundscapes have certainly positioned them as influential figures within the emerging indie landscape. Critical praise throughout the broadsheets (The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The New York Times, Evening Standard) and key UK/US indie titans (NME, DIY, Dork, So Young, TIME Magazine, The FADER, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, NYLON, Rolling Stone UK, Loud & Quiet, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash, The Forty-Five), as well as on the BBC Radio 1 (Jack Saunders, Gemma Bradley), BBC 6 Music (Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne) and Apple Music (Elton John) airwaves has enhanced their profile significantly; whilst on the live circuit the group have already supported acts including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paolo Nutini, Parquet Courts and Yard Act, in addition to notable debut slots at SXSW and Glastonbury.

Speaking of their latest single, Fontaine revealed: “When people ask where I’m from I usually say I’m mixed race: half Yorkshire, half Lancashire. It allows me to divert with comedy from the potential connotations of that question, which change wildly depending on who’s asking it. One end of Albert Road in Colne (her hometown) is cold, underfunded and uninspiring; the other is warm at night with live music. It sums up how I look back on the place I lived for 19 years.

Detailing the accompanying visuals, co-director Douglas Frost added: “This video, co-directed alongside the talented Sarah Oglesby at Sodium Films, represents the complex feelings of love one might have towards their hometown. I wanted ‘Albert Road’ to have a dream-like feel whilst keeping a firm grip on reality. That’s why we chose to film in one of our favourite pubs in Leeds, The Cardigan Arms –  its classic interior was a great juxtaposition to the ethereal qualities of the video. There are also a few Easter eggs for those die hard English Teacher fans (if you’re out there please make contact). This is technically my directorial debut so sit back, shut up and be nice.

Produced by Marta Salogni (Bjork, Bon Iver, M.I.A.), English Teacher’s ‘Albert Road’ is out now via Island Records and available on all digital platforms.

‘This Could Be Texas’ (LP) Tracklist
01 – Albatross
02 – The World’s Biggest Paving Slab
03 – Broken Biscuits
04 – I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying
05 – Mastermind Specialism
06 – This Could Be Texas
07 – Not Everybody Gets To Go To Space
08 – R&B
09 – Nearly Daffodils
10 – The Best Tears Of Your Life
11 – You Blister My Paint
12 – Sideboob
13 – Albert Road

Live Dates
28th Jan – The Crescent, York
29th Jan – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
31st Jan – The Georgian Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees
1st Feb – Polar Bear, Hull
2nd Feb – Whereelse?, Margate
3rd Feb – Bedford Esquires, Bedford

8th Feb – L’Ubu, Rennes, FRA
9th Feb – Le Krakatoa, Mérignac, FRA
10th Feb – Point Éphémère, Paris, FRA
13th Feb – Cactus Club, Brugge, BEL
14th Feb – Trix, Antwerpen, BEL
17th Feb – Molotow, Hamburg, GER
18th Feb – Cassiopeia, Berlin, GER
20th Feb – Kranhalle, Munchen, GER
22nd Feb – Vera, Groningen, NL
23rd Feb – Rotown, Rotterdam, NL
24th Paradiso Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, NL

8th May – Concorde 2, Brighton
9th May – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
10th May – Thekla, Bristol
11th May – Clwb lfor Bach, Cardiff
13th May – The Bullingdon, Oxford
15th May – The Foundry, Sheffield
16th May – Irish Centre, Leeds
17th May – Mash House, Edinburgh
18th May – King Tuts, Glasgow
21st May – Ulster Sports Club, Belfast
22nd May – Whelans, Dublin
24th May – Gorilla, Manchester
25th May – Castle and Falcon, Birmingham
28th May – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
29th May – Electric Brixton, London


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.