Leeds based indie poppers Just Handshakes are back with the first cut from there forthcoming album. It’s their most ambitious track to date and might well be their best as well.
Starting with some buzzing new wave synth sounds and a rattling tom filled drum beat it could almost be Joy Division till Clara comes in with her beautifully melodious tones which are a good few octaves away from Ian Curtis. There’s a greater maturity to the voice than previous efforts where sometimes she seemed to be struggling for top billing against the music. The characterful vocal inflections are a gorgeous thing, reminiscent of Joanna Newsom not that she’d ever do anything this jaunty! Not that there’s anything jaunty about the lyrics that plead “can we walk the long way home, I don’t want to be on my own” and conclude “all my friends are London bound they leave without making a sound” a familiar feeling to anyone who went to University outside of the capital and has watched the mass migration to the city rob there life of some much needed character and company.
Having recently parted with bass player Ed it would be reminisce to not note just how wonderful it is to hear such a prominent and powerful bass rumble throughout this track, rightly given top billing in the mix the rhythm section really bring a groove to the song and allow synths and guitars to get on with the pretty stuff. It’s a beautiful and bold thing and certainly should create some buzz ahead of what could be one of the best albums of 2013.