The London-based band Dry Cleaning has returned with a new single, “Anna Calls From The Arctic.” The track is lifted from their highly anticipated sophomore album, Stumpwork, due out Oct. 21 on 4AD.
A frozen-over endeavor, the song has a certain automatic chill that makes you shiver. It maintains an icy sense of isolation even though Florence Shaw is narrating a stream-of-consciousness conversation with a distant friend. There’s a desire for warmth, underscored by the shakers that come in midway through the song and Shaw’s admission, “I like it when / You can see inside houses / From a car it’s cozy.” It feels like the winter’s last cold front moving through as she mentions how much she cherishes her dad’s lamp and nervously seeks out a connection, wondering, “Should I propose friendship?” Arctic desolation ends as Shaw deadpan-predicts, “A sweet, natural start / We will flower,” practically melting the ice herself.
“The lyrics were partly inspired by phone calls with a friend who was living and working in the Arctic,” explains the band. ”The song developed from a keyboard, bass, and clarinet jam. This then took shape during our pre-recording sessions with John Parish and Joe Jones in Bristol and finalized at Rockfield studios a month later, with some musical inspiration coming from the dramatic scores of John Barry. The song is observational and sensual.”
The accompanying visualizer features the band’s drummer, Nick Buxton, which the band directed themselves. The distorted shots show Buxton gracefully gliding as he skates backwards around a deserted ice skating rink.
Check out “Anna Calls From The Arctic” below.