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Press Play: Shopping

todayFebruary 28, 2020

Background

Although Shopping is no longer based in London, with guitarist Rachel Aggs in Glasgow joined by drummer Andrew Milk, and bassist Billy Easter a semi-permanent resident of Los Angeles, Shopping is still a London band at heart. The DIY group burst onto the East London scene back in 2012 with their lively, minimalistic dance-punk sound.

The outfit’s 2015 album Why Choose is full of bright and endlessly diverse post-punk tangles. It boasts speak-shout vocals, funk-punk basslines and sharp guitar riffs all manifested with impressive fidelity and a retro-cool attitude. Why Choose also carries a constant flow of conversation among the band members with each lending their voices on the record. On the track “Straight Lines”, the conversation is taken literally as Aggs and Milk act out halves of two different quarrels between partners.

Shopping’s third album The Official Body is jittery, minimalist and all about fun. There’s a bouncy movement on standout track, “My Dad’s A Dancer,” with Aggs spidery guitar spinning a web of melody as she chants, This is such a simple thing / You don’t like me, I don’t look like you. It’s an angry track, but Aggs cuts the bitterness with her “ha ha ha” refrain. Like previous albums, The Offical Body is sparse, angular and refreshing. Unlike previous albums, the band worked in deep synth-bass tones in a few songs for a fresh, electrifying feel.

On their most recent album, All or Nothing, Shopping relies more heavily on synthesizers and drum pads than any previous album. The band’s newfound love for classic 80s synth-pop inspired them to incorporate heavy, dystopian keyboards on “Follow Me’, “For Your Pleasure”, and “Lies.”  With these excursions aside, Shopping still delivers a sound that is easily identifiable. The jangly and bright “Initiative” is a confrontational yet dance-ready tune with a music video that features band members as frustrated office workers. Overall, All or Nothing is a grand revision of their previous work and maintains the propulsion and energy that the group has made their own.

Next week, Shopping are embarking on a North American tour. View the dates and find tickets here.

Written by: Maria


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