Louisa Roach, the brainchild behind She Drew The Gun, is an outspoken presence, in a sea of bland, wispy singer-songwriter types. Not for her the cliches of fey, acoustic guitar music and autumnal photoshoots. She writes lyrics which feel like a dystopian nightmare, interrogating feminism, class and beliefs. She’s all about music as revolution, refusing to be complacent or silent. Roach has the chops too, a young mum from a working class background, who studied Psychology as a mature student.
In this, her third album, the Liverpool artist’s polemical, punk-inspired pop takes a distinctive electronic twist. There is a sneaky kind of subversion here, as her music is accessible enough to appeal to trendy kids, but with enough eloquence to inspire effective discourse. All in all, it’s a nice way of sugaring the pill, especially for those who may not otherwise be politically active.
‘Next On The List’ sides with all of society’s marginalised voices, and the title track feels like a twenty first century response to The Slits’ ‘Typical Girls’, the verse chanted like a dead-eyed, robotic mantra, but buzzing with dissatisfaction, even as it slides into a catchy chorus.
‘Class War (How Much)’ is one of the best tracks here, poking at corporate venality, but with an eye on the dancefloor, and ‘Panopticon’ even has shades of New Order and Pet Shop Boys in its DNA, a retro but melancholic gem with Roach’s vocals erring on the more vulnerable side. Lived experience is what separates She Drew The Gun from the poseurs- Behave Myself is proof positive that she’s well on her way. Academia’s loss is indie pop’s gain.