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The Prosaic Post-Punk of Dry Cleaning's Stumpwork

Album: Stumpwork

Artist: Dry Cleaning

Label: 4AD

Release Date: October 21st, 2022

Non-Airable Tracks: "Anna Calls From The Attic" , "Kwenchy Kups", "Hot Penny Day", & "No Decent Shoes For Rain"

“Things are sh*t but they’re gonna be okay”; Dry Cleaning’s New Album is a poetic contemplation on the beauty of the mundane.

Late-stage capitalism is wearing all of us down. Keenly aware of this fact and experiencing it themselves, Dry Cleaning's new album, “Stumpwork”, offers up reminders to look for small moments of joy in your world whether it be the joy of getting a package in the mail box, the unique charm of your dad’s vintage lamp, or the fleeting idea of a water caterpillar.

“Stumpwork” maintains the alluring rhythm, funky guitar riffs and ambient synth elements they have establish since their first release in 2019, Sweet Princess. Although lacking the immediately catchy and memorable riffs present in “Scratchcard Lanyard” off their previous album, New Long Leg, the groovy guitar opening in “Hot Penny Day” was memorable and most emblematic of the funk elements present in the band’s work.

Florence Shaw delivers quippy and acerbic lyrics in her characteristically nonchalant if not sometimes callous tone varying between singing, speaking and yelling. This does not overshadow the consistently impressive skills of the other band members, Nick Buxton, Lewis Maynard and Tom Dowse who play drums, bass and guitar respectively.

The title track holds lyrics that feel emblematic of the grim irony present in their lyrics;

“I thought I saw a young couple clinging to a round baby But it was a bundle of trash and food Trash and food”

I would compare the theme and tone of this album to movies like “Lost In Translation”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” or “Frances Ha”. It feels raw, subdued, and contemplative.

Rating: *****

Sounds Like:

1. Sinead O’Brien

2. Fontaines DC

3. Yard Act

4. Squid

5. The Lounge Society

Recommended Tracks:

1. “Hot Penny Day”

2. “Kwenchy Kups”

3. “Conservative Hell”

4. “Don’t Press Me”

Reviewers Name: Quinn Reilly

Date of Review: December 5th, 2022


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