These New Puritans - Biography
By Marcus Kagler
Touting a thick veneer of art rock brio and driven by post punk dance beats, the English quartet These New Puritans took the silliness of Franz Ferdinand and replaced it with surreal wordplay and obtuse mechanization. Let’s put it this way, the primary theme of the song, “Numerology AKA Numbers”, is the very definition of numbers. No traditional love songs here, in fact, These New Puritans rarely write a song that doesn’t require heavy analysis or a master’s degree in philosophy (or mathematics for that matter). Formed in the coastal town of Southend-on-Sea, England in 2006 by vocalist/guitarist Jack Barnett and his twin brother/drummer George, keyboardist Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, and bassist Thomas Hein, the group injected a heavy dose of avant-garde art rock back into a increasingly listless post punk revival movement. Influenced by early P.I.L. and Pink Flag era Wire, the band’s intense live shows quickly earned them buzz worthy status throughout the UK while still in their teens. The band, particularly Jack Barnett, also dressed the part by often wearing black dress shirts buttoned to the top, a statement post punk icons Joy Division also made a habit of doing. Having only released a handful of tracks on various compilations, the group was chosen to compose a track specifically for the Christian Dior fall 2007 collection showcase, and subsequently traveled to Paris to debut the track “Navigate, Navigate” that February. Their debut EP, Now Pluvial (2007 Angular Records), followed in October to critical accolades with the band signing to UK indie label Domino Records a short time later. The strong critical reception continued with their debut full length, Beat Pyramid (2008 Domino), after which the group embarked on their first of many international tours.