London art-rock band Dry Cleaning rock out in a vacant carpet shop in the video for “Unsmart Lady,” the latest single from their upcoming debut album, New Long Leg.
The song pairs one of the band’s heaviest grooves with lead vocalist Florence Shaw’s spoken lyrics about body image (“Fat, podgy, non-make-up/Unsmart lady”), everyday frustrations (“If you like a girl, be nice/It’s not rocket science”), and the Kerry Bog Pony, a hardy Irish horse breed known for working in tough conditions.
“I was thinking about these things that are supposed to be a source of shame about your appearance, and wanting to use them in a powerful way,” Shaw recently told Rolling Stone. “Just trying to survive when you feel knackered and put-upon and shit about yourself, but you say, ‘I don’t care, I’m great.’”
She added that she was imagining a character in the song, but also thinking about a time in her own life “when I was doing a lot of different jobs, and running around a lot and getting changed in toilets on the way to different shifts. I was exhausted, and imagining a hard-working lady.”
The music video, given an old-school analog look by director Tilly Shiner, features Shaw performing alongside bandmates Tom Dowse (guitar), Nick Buxton (drums), and Lewis Maynard (bass). Anyone who misses live shows might find themselves wishing they, too, could be at a random storefront watching a band make some noise by the end of the clip.
New Long Leg is out on 4AD this Friday, April 2nd.