By Kaleb Helms
Artist: These New Puritans
Album Title: Inside the Rose
Release Date: March 22, 2019
Label: Infectious Music
These New Puritans is one of the more interesting groups I have come through my rotation of music as both members began playing music together as children. Their newest album Inside The Rose seems to be their most experimental album yet as it combines the grace of strings with the flexibility of electronic music. The Barnett brothers are originally from Essex, England and grew up writing and recording music together in their free time (George-drums and singing and Jack-singing, bass and synthesizer). These New Puritans was formed in 2006 and released their first album Beat Pyramid in 2008 which features a punk rock style, which is a stark contrast to their newest release Inside The Rose.
Their second album Hidden presented a more dark and electronic style that is closer to Inside the Rose. Overall, the bands progression from brit-punk to experimenting with electronica gives the barnett brothers plenty of experience not only with physical instruments but also with how electronic sounds and techniques fit the song. These New Puritans have always enjoyed experimenting with and improving their sound from minor technical things, such as one of the brothers taking music notation classes to improve their ability to physically write music.
Inside The Rose is a musical experience that challenges conventional genre lines between electronic and classical music. The album provides what classical music could become in the future: a section of strings accompanied by also a synth or keyboard section. Overall, These New Puritans are pushing the limits of what music conventionally is and are one of the most experimental groups I have come across this year.
The album begins with the song “Infinity Vibraphones” which starts with a repetitive synth progression of bells that continues throughout the song. The song has some pretty dark lyrics such as “let’s go back to the underworld” and “down here in hell we’ve got everything you need”.
The song “infinity vibraphones” is six and a half minutes and gives the listener a melancholy feeling that is an interesting introduction to the album and leaves the listener wanting more. The second song that stood out to me was “Inside the Rose”, which begins with a suspenseful string arrangement accompanied by the same monotone lyrics that are present throughout the album. The lyrics of “Inside the Rose” seem to allude to growth through another individual as “I’ll make you bloom” is repeated several times while also providing the same montone and melancholy tone present throughout the album. The contrast of the obscure instrumentation with the monotone and calm vocals creates a uneasy feeling that in my case made me want to listen more.
The last song that really caught my attention was “A-R-P”, which is an interesting electronic piece with super deep bass tones as well as a high tempo synth riff to contrast. “A-R-P” has an intro that is two minutes long before the lyrics start, and even then the lyrics are the shortest of any song on the album yet has a runtime of six and a half minutes. The song feels like a soundtrack to a space movie with the main character drifting off alone into the void.
The entirety of Inside the Rose by These New Puritans is pushing the limits of not only electronic music but how classical instruments can be used to complement the tones of electronica. These New Puritans are pushing genre lines yet again and experimenting with new techniques and sounds that are not being produced by anyone else and have created an interesting original sound of their own.