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TV Priest - My Other People (Album Review)

Thursday, 30 June 2022 Written by Craig Howieson

Photo: Hollie Fernando

“I need to sleep,” are the first words we hear from TV Priest’s Charlie Drinkwater on ‘My Other People’. Accompanied by a sparsely picked guitar line, it is as though the vocalist is creeping into an unfamiliar room and surveying the scene before making his arrival known. It hints at a more considered approach than the one that propelled their debut ‘Uppers’, and that’s something the London post-punks investigate further over the course of the record's 12 tracks.

You can’t blame Drinkwater for needing some rest. Barely 18 months on from their first LP and playing catch up on a buzz that was built in the midst of a global pandemic, it is an impressive feat to be back with new music so soon.

Sleep deprivation aside, the band still manage to roll and shake through the stomping I Have Learnt Nothing and It Was Beautiful with the same ferocious abandon of their former selves.

And while the post-punk touch points remain in places, their sound has rounded out, incorporating a dynamism and subtlety that reflects Drinkwater’s increasingly personal lyrics. 

Punctuated by existentialist musings and a quest for moments of meaning, Drinkwater’s performance is now imbued with the commanding gravitas of peers such as Protomartyr's Joe Casey, wielding a power in his voice that was not always present on ‘Uppers’. 

It is something that makes the quieter moments on the record all the more poignant. Limehouse Cut finds flowers among the weeds as a creeping unease dissipates into a warmingly hopeful chorus—it’s the sound of light filtering through the window of a desolate tenement window, illuminating a life beyond the limits you can see. 

While some of their rivals may use stabs of angular guitars and brutalist tendencies to pummel their listeners into submission, TV Priest appreciate the importance of finding a groove to sink into to make people take notice. Not unlike Gang of Four, the band's most vitriolic moments nestle above an undeniable sway that drills them into your memory.

‘My Other People’ contains plenty of shadows. It is not always a comfortable listen, with Drinkwater’s unguarded honesty being utterly disarming at times, but it is a record that it’s easy to relate to. And if, as Drinkwater sings on Bury Me In My Shoes “Life only comes in flashes of greatness”, this can be counted as another one for TV Priest. It also acts as a reminder that we should all set about finding those flashes for ourselves.

TV Priest Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun October 30 2022 - BRISTOL Louisiana
Mon October 31 2022 - BIRMINGHAM Hare And Hounds
Tue November 01 2022 - DUBLIN Workmens Club
Thu November 03 2022 - MANCHESTER YES (The Pink Room)
Fri November 04 2022 - GLASGOW Broadcast
Sat November 05 2022 - LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Mon November 07 2022 - CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms
Tue November 08 2022 - LEICESTER Firebug
Thu November 10 2022 - LONDON Scala
Fri November 11 2022 - READING Face Bar
Sat November 12 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Joiners
Sun November 13 2022 - BRIGHTON Green Door Store

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