It’s now been just over a decade that These New Puritans have been working together. Currently consisting solely of twins Jack and George Barnett, the brother’s musical connection dates further back to their shared upbringing, with the pair learning to deconstruct Aphex Twin and attempting to emulate Captain Beefheart. With such musical eclecticism present during their development, it offers an understanding of their defiance in being constrained by the classification of rigid genres and categories in their discography to date.
This is the follow up to their divisive third album, ‘Field of Reeds’. And while we’ve come to anticipate maverick innovation from TNP, ‘Inside The Rose’ is their most immediate and open-handed album to date.
The title track is both tender and intuitive, but also brutalist and utilitarian. The determinedly benevolent ‘Where The Trees Are On Fire’ offers indulgently soft brass and twinkling percussion, all masterfully layered together in a fashion more expected of a post-rock track. The austere and postmodern electronics of the title track cut through warm string arrangements and pensive vocals, to construct something that sounds like it could provide the title theme to Trainspotting 3.
On previous releases, the group’s multi-hyphenate approach may have proven troublesome for some. But here, at least, it feels like they’ve discovered a formula that means ‘Inside The Rose’ will comfortably prosper for a casual listener whilst also contently existing in the most conceited of concert halls and dancehalls of decadence and hedonism.